New Beginnings hosts a grand opening for its new home at 111 E. Frontier St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 13.
New Beginnings Pregnancy and Parenting Center is a non-profit volunteer organization that has served the Rim Country since 1994.
It has had several homes — most recently sharing space with the Payson Christian Clinic — and now it has a building of its own, leased from Banner Payson Medical Center for the next five years, with the opportunity to renew for another five years.
The organization, according to its mission statement, provides unconditional acceptance and assistance to women, men, teens and families experiencing both planned and unplanned pregnancies. It is a pro-life advocate, so does not offer, recommend or refer for abortions. It offers accurate information about abortion procedures and risks.
It also offers fact-based responses to question regarding pregnancy, fetal development, parenting, adoption, sexual integrity, sexually transmitted diseases and more.
New Beginnings has an extensive library of educational resources for its clients. Manager Anita Christy said clients include young women experiencing their first pregnancy, women who have already had children, families seeking to provide their children with information about sexual integrity, men who are becoming first-time fathers, and even grandparents and great-grandparents who find themselves again providing care for young children. On average 12 to 20 clients make use of the resources at the facility every week.
She said some clients participate in parent counseling programs offered at the recommendation of the courts. New Beginnings provides these clients with certificates of completion to take to the courts if they successfully go through their suggested program.
The “program” is different for each client. The classes an individual takes depends on where they are in their pregnancy or their needs.
In addition to helping clients with questions and concerns about reproduction and child rearing, it has a component of courses on life skills and relationships for adults.
Christy said one of the relationship topics is “Falling in love is easy, staying in love takes a plan” and there is a parenting course, “Effective parenting in a defective world.”
There are also classes that address stress and anger management, she said, plus an extensive list of resources available to clients to contact for more help with difficult situations.
A group of 14 lay counselors, with occasional assistance from a lay counseling consultant, provide assistance to the group’s clients. All the services provided are free and as clients complete different steps and educational programs they can earn points to exchange for items in New Beginnings’ Parenting Shop. The shop inventory includes nursery furnishings, diapers, formula, clothes, toys, strollers and more. Christy said if a mother goes through the entire program of courses she would never have to buy diapers.
New Beginnings provides pregnancy tests, but since it is not a medical facility, the lay counselor cannot tell their client she is pregnant, only that the test result is positive. While the tests the facility uses are more sophisticated than home pregnancy tests, they are not infallible.
So, instead of telling the client she is pregnant, the lay counselor will refer her to one of the community’s physicians to provide a diagnosis. Additionally with a positive result from a test, the client is given the paperwork to apply for assistance from the Department of Economic Security and the Women, Infants and Children’s program, and they are given a “Positive Pregnancy Bag” with baby items and personal care items for the woman. With underwriting by Dr. Cynthia Booth, New Beginnings is able to help pregnant women get free prenatal vitamins from Bashas’.
Teens participating in New Beginnings’ Life Skills Program also earn points that can be exchanged for gift certificates to different businesses in town. The teens’ program includes healthy relationships, independent living skills and building character.
Programs for men, taught by male lay counselors, are the practical fatherhood series, courses on relationships, and the manhood series.
To start the process with the program, clients make an appointment for a one-on-one, confidential intake interview with a lay counselor. Using that as a base, a program of courses is developed. The courses involve viewing video programs, workbook exercises, group discussions and homework.
If clients have to bring their children with them, the facility has videos and toys to keep them occupied while their parent is doing the program work.
Everything provided to the clients is made possible through donations by area churches, group and individual donations and funds raised through New Beginnings’ thrift store, The Nook, 408 W. Main St.
At the July 13 grand opening of the New Beginnings building at 111 E. Frontier, Lance Porter, chief executive officer for Banner Payson Medical Center, will be given a plaque of appreciation for arranging the lease of the building with the organization, tours are planned and refreshments will be served.
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