Pregnancy center prepares for move

By Gus Bode

A larger location for the Carbondale Shawnee Crisis Pregnancy Center has been in the works for more than a decade – now it’s close to a reality.

Construction recently started for the 1,848-square-foot building at 241 S. Lewis Lane. Center leaders hope to move into the new site by Oct. 1.

The center has been around since 1980 at 215 W. Main St. It offers confidential services that include free pregnancy tests, financial counseling, and donated baby supplies.

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The new location will allow the center to offer more to women, teenagers and families who seek help when pregnancy is unexpected or turns into a financial burden, executive director Marsha Perfetti said.

Though she is excited about the move, Perfetti said there are pros and cons to the move.

“The benefit to being on Route 13 is we’re in the middle of town. The negative part is that we’re in the middle of town on the main street, which means confidentiality is compromised,” Perfetti said. “People have to come in and out of our front door.”

One high point, she said, is that the new location should be easy to find.

“We’re going to be further from the hospital but closer to the mall, and most of the girls know were the mall is,” Perfetti said. “It might be more convenient for some of the people who live in the housing over there to be within walking distance.”

Some of the new features include a washer and dryer. Currently the center sends laundry – mostly baby clothes – to locations in Marion and Anna to be cleaned before it can be donated. These locations are what help more than 3,000 people a year, Perfetti said.

Shawnee Crisis Pregnancy Center runs on donations and volunteers. The center has about $140,000 to work with for the new center, so volunteer help will be relied on heavily, Perfetti said.

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SIUC senior Jennifer Bevirt, who majors in social work and interns at the center, said she is excited about the move.

“This is a smaller building and a lot of our donations are spread out all over the place, and if you go to the other offices they have all the clothing in one room, so I look forward to having everything in one spot,” Bevirt said.

Daily Egyptian writer Jakina Hill can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 249 or [email protected]

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