Entrance to Hope: Nexus-Gerard celebrates unveiling of Family Center with ribbon cutting
Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023
In September of last year, Nexus-Gerard Family Healing Center broke ground on its Family Center project. On Tuesday, the facility unveiled the completed project with a ribbon cutting of the $1.2 million addition.
“I was so proud to offer this to our families,” Nexus-Gerard Executive Director Karen Wolf said. “We feel so fortunate for the assistance of our community.”
The Family Center was designed and built for the expressed purpose of family comfort, where staff could meet with them in much more comfort and to fully offer the support they needed.
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It will also be the primary meeting area for parent partners, who through experience have gone through much of what newer families might be experiencing.
That program is also a relatively new addition to Nexus-Gerard in order to help guide families through their journey at Nexus-Gerard.
“Sometimes when parents have been through the system, it might be harder to trust the institution,” Wolf said back in September. “Parent partners help seek out resources.”
About halfway through construction of the site, Nexus-Gerard received a boost when it was announced that it had been awarded a grant of $500,000 by the Hormel Foundation.
The process of introducing the new building to the grounds began about two years ago when conversations started about what can be added fulfill the facilities mission.
When thinking about Nexus-Gerard’s vision, Wolf told the crowd gathered Tuesday afternoon that it was a simple decision when it came to what it needed.
“I knew we needed a space for families to meet with their children,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
The addition itself meshes seamlessly with the rest of the buildings at Nexus-Gerard, designed to be a welcoming space for families struggling with the challenges of leaving their children in a new, unfamiliar place to seek treatment.
Dr. Michelle Murray, CEO and president of Nexus Family Healing touched on this, asking the people to imagine themselves in that very position.
“You may have some hope about that. Maybe you have fears about that,” she said. “Maybe there’s a bunch of unknowns. You have time to come in, sit down with your child and the people of Gerard and say, ‘let get through this.’”
More than a place to get help for a family’s child, having the Family Center at the very entrance of the facility is a sign for parents or anybody that comes to Nexus-Gerard for help.
“That is a symbol … of hope,” Murray said. “No matter what services you’re getting here … there is a space for you.”