Phone 704-372-4663

Author: Kamaria Clifton

Over Comer

Although we go through struggles being pregnant,
statistics, people, and taunts are irrelevant.
I believe I can achieve the impossible dreams,
because God, my children, and FCS guided me.
I was going to give up, I thought it was hard.
Thank you FCS for bringing me thus far.
I am an over comer!

Written by an FCS client in 2012

Andrea,

Just had to share with you how great last night was. We had an amazing time with the ladies making picture frames. They are so creative. I was really surprised at how good they were and how much they seemed to enjoy themselves. It’s nights like that, that keep us going and wanting to do our very best.

Just wanted to share.

Take care and have a great day!
Bunita
New Zion Chuch

Dear Ms. Andrea.

Hello, how are you doing? I am fine. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for me, and for all you do for many others. I don’t think people thank you enough! You have done great things, for example you let me stay at Florence, even though I came with a lot of baggage. I was in trouble and needed to get my act together. And like i said the last time I talked to you, you helped me a lot, just saying those words “we believe people can change.” Thank you so much for showing me the way.

P.S. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and happy new year.

Photo: Story # 68

Dear Ms. Andrea.

Hello, how are you doing?  I am fine.  I wanted to thank you for all you have done for me, and for all you do for many others.  I don't think people thank you enough!  You have done great things, for example you let me stay at Florence, even though I came with a lot of baggage.  I was in trouble and needed to get my act together.  And like i said the last time I talked to you, you helped me a lot, just saying those words "we believe people can change."  Thank you so much for showing me the way.

P.S. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and happy new year.

Our amazing residents at Florence Crittenton come from all walks of life. They are from all over the state of North Carolina, are all ages, and always have their own unique story. There commonalities are in pregnancy and the wish for a healthy baby and promising future. FCS does its best to provide and make possible the dreams and hopes of our clients. Whether it be assisting a client in enrolling in school, finding a job, securing housing, etc., FCS strives for excellence in supporting and encouraging the strengths of each lady in residence. Our determination to provide the most comprehensive and holistic services would not be successful without the aid of our community. This was made manifest once again this past Wednesday, during our Movers for Moms kick off event the #diaperdash.

For the 5th year in a row TWO MEN AND A TRUCK of Charlotte, NC has allowed FCS to be the lucky recipients of their amazing donation drive, allowing FCS to provide necessary items to is clients in need.

This year, has already surpassed expectations. On Wednesday, runners from NoDa Brewing Run Club met at NoDa Brewing Company for their weekly run, except this time they brought with them donations for Florence Crittenton Services – Charlotte, NC. We received over 700 items from the runners as well as from Belevation. Additionally, FCS received over $100.00 in monetary donations.

We are forever grateful! Without your love and support our services would not exist.

Thank you so much! I am overwhelmed with your generosity!

Andrea McGhee
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

I have had so much fun looking at some of our historic records this week. Today’s story is the FCS annual report from almost 70 years ago. There are so many commonalities, it warms my heart knowing our mission and services have withstood the tests of time.

Today’s story is another piece of our history. Enjoy!

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett
Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Social Activist

Kate Waller Barrett was a truly remarkable woman. A humanitarian, philanthropist, sociologist and social reformer, she crusaded tirelessly – and successfully – for assistance for the “outcast woman, the mistreated prisoner, those lacking in educational and social opportunity, the voteless woman, and the disabled war veteran”. Kate Waller Barrett made a difference.

She was born in 1857 to a well-to-do family at Widewater in Stafford County, Virginia and married Robert South Barrett, an Episcopal minister, in 1876. Assisting him with his work in Richmond, Virginia, Kentucky, and Atlanta, Georgia, she first became aware of the social problems that became her life’s work. With the support of her husband, she earned a medical degree in 1892 from the Women’s Medical College of Georgia, followed in 1894 by an honorary Doctor of Science degree. She also studied nursing at the Florence Nightingale Training School in London, England.

Widowed at 39 in 1896, she assumed sole responsibility for raising her six children and began her professional career. Dr. Barrett’s central professional interest was the plight of unmarried mothers in the late 19th and early 20th century. She was interested in rescuing helpless girls and women and “fallen women” – almost always an uphill battle against the prejudices of her time. After limited initial success in Atlanta founding “rescue homes” in the face of official opposition, in 1893 she joined forces with Charles N. Crittenton, a wealthy New Yorker also interested in rescue work, to found the first Florence Crittenton Home for unmarried mothers. After she was widowed, she became the General Superintendent of the newly-formed National Florence Crittenton Mission and became its President in 1909, keeping both positions until her death in 1925. The Mission eventually ran more than 50 homes around the country.

Photo: Story #64

Today's story is another piece of our history.  Enjoy!

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett
Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Social Activist

Kate Waller Barrett was a truly remarkable woman. A humanitarian, philanthropist, sociologist and social reformer, she crusaded tirelessly - and successfully - for assistance for the "outcast woman, the mistreated prisoner, those lacking in educational and social opportunity, the voteless woman, and the disabled war veteran". Kate Waller Barrett made a difference.

She was born in 1857 to a well-to-do family at Widewater in Stafford County, Virginia and married Robert South Barrett, an Episcopal minister, in 1876. Assisting him with his work in Richmond, Virginia, Kentucky, and Atlanta, Georgia, she first became aware of the social problems that became her life's work. With the support of her husband, she earned a medical degree in 1892 from the Women's Medical College of Georgia, followed in 1894 by an honorary Doctor of Science degree. She also studied nursing at the Florence Nightingale Training School in London, England.

Widowed at 39 in 1896, she assumed sole responsibility for raising her six children and began her professional career.  Dr. Barrett's central professional interest was the plight of unmarried mothers in the late 19th and early 20th century. She was interested in rescuing helpless girls and women and "fallen women" - almost always an uphill battle against the prejudices of her time. After limited initial success in Atlanta founding "rescue homes" in the face of official opposition, in 1893 she joined forces with Charles N. Crittenton, a wealthy New Yorker also interested in rescue work, to found the first Florence Crittenton Home for unmarried mothers. After she was widowed, she became the General Superintendent of the newly-formed National Florence Crittenton Mission and became its President in 1909, keeping both positions until her death in 1925. The Mission eventually ran more than 50 homes around the country.

 

Catherine, age 21, North Carolina

I have seen terrible things in my life. I grew up in Sierra Leone and I was three years old when the war began and my village was torn apart. I can’t even describe the horrible the violence and murder I saw committed by the rebels. If you saw the movie “Blood Diamonds” you have a small idea of what it was like for me as a child. Violence like that scars you forever. My father got us out of the country but my mother died of AIDS that she got from helping war victims so my father raised me. I was very close to my father and he loved me very much. Eventually we ended up in in the United States and he remarried. When I was 11, he got stomach cancer and died. After he died, my stepmother took everything away. We had no food, water and she took our inheritance. I had six families that wanted to adopt me but she wouldn’t let me go because she would lose the money. I loved and trusted her and she betrayed me. I was so lonely and I missed my dad.

I got pregnant at age 17 and my stepmother refused to help me. And I refused to live in a house with no heat in the winter. Not with my child. A social worker who had been visiting the house referred me to Florence Crittenton of North Carolina. I got into a mother-child program and I learned to bond with my child. I worked full-time, got my GED and now I am taking college courses. I hope to become a detective but first they tell me I have to become a police officer. That’s fine.

I am grateful to have lived at Florence Crittenton for two years. I learned how to live independently and now I have my own apartment and my own car. My son is four. We’re gonna make it.

I refused to be separated from my son—he’s the only family I have.

Who was Florence Crittenton?

She was the daughter of Charles N. Crittenton, a wealthy New York City druggist who was heartbroken when Florence died of scarlet fever at age 4 in 1882. Throwing himself into missionary work, he spent four years working in the city slums and established what became the Florence Crittenton Mission, building homes for “lost and fallen women.” His first home, for prostitutes and unmarried pregnant girls, opened in New York City in 1883.

Later, he traveled across the country twice a year in his private railroad car, donating $500 to any town willing to start a similar home. More than 70 Florence Crittenton Homes opened. Mr. Crittenton died in 1909.

In the 1950s and ’60s, many Crittenton and other maternity homes changed from refuges that offered sympathy and support to places where embarrassed middle-class parents would secretly hide their pregnant daughters, who were pressured to give up their babies for adoption. With the introduction of the birth-control pill, the legalization of abortion and a lessening of the stigma of unwed motherhood, the homes began closing.

Today, the National Crittenton Foundation, based in Portland, Ore., is an advocacy and support group for young women on the margins, most of whom have been victims of abuse, violence or neglect. It is affiliated with a network of 27 independent social service agencies across the country; girls are generally referred by juvenile justice, child welfare, school and other systems. These agencies operate far differently from the way they would have in the ’50s and ’60s.

“We have a group of agencies whose current focus is still primarily young mothers in a residential setting,” Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, the foundation’s chief executive, said in an e-mail. She added: “Less than 2 percent of the young moms choose to create an adoption plan, and they are overwhelmingly open adoptions. Today the decision to raise a child or to create an adoption plan is up to the young mother.”

Ms. Pai-Espinosa said people seeking information about their mothers or about children who might have been the subject of a Crittenton Home adoption could contact the Florence Crittenton Home Reunion Registry.

Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director of Inwood House, a New York City affiliate, said of the Crittenton Foundation: “They really stand for the empowerment of these young women and the opportunities for them. We don’t want to see them marginalized in society, and we don’t want to see their potential written off because they become parents at a young age.”

Women on the Margins
By MICHAEL POLLAK
Published: December 7, 2012

Photo: Story #61

Who was Florence Crittenton?

She was the daughter of Charles N. Crittenton, a wealthy New York City druggist who was heartbroken when Florence died of scarlet fever at age 4 in 1882. Throwing himself into missionary work, he spent four years working in the city slums and established what became the Florence Crittenton Mission, building homes for “lost and fallen women.” His first home, for prostitutes and unmarried pregnant girls, opened in New York City in 1883.

Later, he traveled across the country twice a year in his private railroad car, donating $500 to any town willing to start a similar home. More than 70 Florence Crittenton Homes opened. Mr. Crittenton died in 1909.

In the 1950s and ’60s, many Crittenton and other maternity homes changed from refuges that offered sympathy and support to places where embarrassed middle-class parents would secretly hide their pregnant daughters, who were pressured to give up their babies for adoption. With the introduction of the birth-control pill, the legalization of abortion and a lessening of the stigma of unwed motherhood, the homes began closing.

Today, the National Crittenton Foundation, based in Portland, Ore., is an advocacy and support group for young women on the margins, most of whom have been victims of abuse, violence or neglect. It is affiliated with a network of 27 independent social service agencies across the country; girls are generally referred by juvenile justice, child welfare, school and other systems. These agencies operate far differently from the way they would have in the ’50s and ’60s.

“We have a group of agencies whose current focus is still primarily young mothers in a residential setting,” Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, the foundation’s chief executive, said in an e-mail. She added: “Less than 2 percent of the young moms choose to create an adoption plan, and they are overwhelmingly open adoptions. Today the decision to raise a child or to create an adoption plan is up to the young mother.”

Ms. Pai-Espinosa said people seeking information about their mothers or about children who might have been the subject of a Crittenton Home adoption could contact the Florence Crittenton Home Reunion Registry.

Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director of Inwood House, a New York City affiliate, said of the Crittenton Foundation: “They really stand for the empowerment of these young women and the opportunities for them. We don’t want to see them marginalized in society, and we don’t want to see their potential written off because they become parents at a young age.” 

Women on the Margins
By MICHAEL POLLAK
Published: December 7, 2012

Today is International Women’s Day.

As a female-focused organization opening our doors in 1903, it is interesting to learn that the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909.

Currently International Women’s Day “is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.” This resonates as Florence Crittenton Services see so much potential in the girls, women and children we serve, as they face challenging and some times devastating obstacles, many are still hopeful about their futures and not defined by their pasts.

So on this Happy International Women’s Day we want to share with you images from a therapeutic art project. These self portraits were produced from a collaboration with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Our residents painted these portraits to share reflections of themselves, their hopes and potential.

Celebrate the women in your life and all women!

For more information on International Women’s Day: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/history.html

Photo: Story #58

Today is International Women’s Day. 

As a female-focused organization opening our doors in 1903, it is interesting to learn that the first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909.

Currently International Women’s Day “is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.” This resonates as Florence Crittenton Services see so much potential in the girls, women and children we serve, as they face challenging and some times devastating obstacles, many are still hopeful about their futures and not defined by their pasts.

So on this Happy International Women's Day we want to share with you images from a therapeutic art project. These self portraits were  produced from a collaboration with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Our residents painted these portraits to share reflections of themselves, their hopes and potential.

Celebrate the women in your life and all women!

For more information on International Women's Day: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/history.html

The Story of Katie

Katie grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and at 15 years of age became pregnant. Katie’s child, Christy, was born in September and just two months later Christy was taken into the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) custody. Katie only had visits with Christy once a week for one hour. Unable to cope with her situation, she became depressed. Drinking alcohol and abusing drugs soon followed. Due to problems at home combined with the lack of resources in her home county, Katie was unable to find stable housing. Her answer to being homeless was to live in a tent near a river. Soon after Katie was taken into custody and brought to Florence Crittenton along with Christy.

Katie, now reunited with her daughter, has been living at Florence Crittenton for two years. In that time she has graduated from high school, enrolled and completed her first
year of college (now in her second year), and has secured employment. Katie saved her money and purchased a car. She is now a manager at her place of employment. Looking back on her journey Katie says “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Florence Crittenton.”

If you like the stories we have been sharing, please consider giving a gift to support these girls and women and their families.
https://crittentonofnc.org/giving-opportunities/