SUNBURY – Pregnant young women with nowhere to go now have a place to turn to right in Sunbury. Pinnacle Place, a branch of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, held an open house Thursday at its new location at 63 S. Fourth Street. It moved from its Coal Township location in April for more space. The new house also makes it more accessible for the mothers for jobs and other needed services.
The fifth-year program is offered to any mother and their children ages 18-22 who are homeless or in an unsafe situation. They are welcome to stay up to 18 months. Kim Eroh Diefenderfer, Family Education Program Manager, “It’s anything from parenting, to child development, cooking, budgeting, how to eat healthy, and how to manage conflict. If they don’t have a high school diploma or GED, we help them get through that process, and help them find jobs.”
The program has been a dream come true for Diefenderfer. She says it’s been better than she envisioned, “The thing I’m most amazed about is that they do come. Because that’s very difficult for a young woman between 18 and 22 to come into a place like this because we do have rules, and we have expectations. While they’re not always thrilled with everything, like the chores, they really do thrive.”
Alex Vogel, who’s lived at the house almost a year, says the program has been very welcoming, “It’s given me a lot of comfort knowing that I’m safe and knowing that my son’s safe. It’s given me that peace knowing that I’m happy and I made the right decision that I came here.”
The ultimate goal of the program is making sure the mothers are employed, save money and move into their own housing. Vogel is on her way to doing so. She’s moving up to server at Bob Evans in Shamokin Dam, and hopes to one day move up to a managing role.