JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A vision to create a center to help Westside women and their families is much closer to reality after an anonymous donor gave $25,000 to the cause.
Faith Temple Assembly of God is hoping to open the Women's Resource Center in an overhauled Branding Boulevard building by summer. Its primary mission will be to "empower, educate and invest" in pregnant women and provide an alternative to abortion.
"On this part of town… it's critical," said Pastor Gabe Trevino.
Founders say it aims at providing the 170,000 women, children and men on the Westside with family planning and health services, something many in the community feel is long overdue.
"Women need something like this," Trevino said. "They're having to face and make big choices and big decisions without any kind of resource, without any kind of help. It's desperately needed."
"We deal with girls with unplanned pregnancies," said Skip Keeling, president of Women's Resource Center. "Then we are a full medical facility, and once the girl - when we do determine that she is pregnant, we try to allow them to see a sonogram. Sonograms are important because if a girl sees a sonogram we have an 85 percent chance of her keeping the baby."
The center will also provide counseling, classes and other medical needs in what founders said will be a safe and loving environment. They say women currently only have access to this kind of care on the Northside, Southside or in Nassau County.
"The heart of this ministry is to be available," Trevino said. "Be a resource to these woman at any moment."
Organizers have plans to open a second location on the Westside and then expand to Nassau County within the next year. It's all to further the goal of creating a happy, healthy community for generations to come.
"Probably within the next four months we're going to be open, and it's going to be a community project where we'll have a full-time director, a client services director and everybody else will be volunteers," said Keeling.
If you'd like more information on the Westside Women's Resource Center or one of its other locations visit wrc-jax.com or call 904-696-9100.
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