By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi got a boost for its efforts on behalf of families and abused children this week.
The center has been tapped to provide abstinence education and parenting classes in the northern half of the state.
Under the Families First Resource Center Program, the Tupelo-based center is eligible to receive up to $1.25 million in grant funding from the Mississippi Department of Human Services to provide services over the next 15 months. If funding is available, the grant could be renewed for two more years, providing another $2 million in funding.
“We are thrilled,” said Family Resource Center Executive Director Christi Webb, who was notified of the grant this week.
The Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi has been serving five counties with abstinence and parenting education, as well as anger management and Adult GED programs.
“We do so much more,” Webb said.
The Family Resource Center has plans to partner with a number of other family resource centers to deliver services in the region that stretches from Meridian and Madison north to the state line.
“We had each little region planned out before we applied for the grant,” Webb said.
On Thursday, the Exchange Club of Tupelo delivered $10,000 for the Family Resource Center’s Child Advocacy Center. The money came from an annual golf tournament the club hosted to benefit the center.
“We doubled what we’ve done the past two years,” said Exchange Club President Brandon Holloway, who noted child abuse prevention aligns with the national club’s mission of strengthening families.
The Child Advocacy Center, which is one of five accredited centers in Mississippi, provides prevention and intervention services for abused children and connects them with community resources. Over the past four years, the Exchange Club has raised about $22,000 to assist with the center’s operation.
“This money from the Exchange Club is great,” Webb said, helping the center stretch its limited funding. “We interviewed 400 children last year.”
Beginning in July, a new assessment on motor vehicle violations will help provide a steady stream of funding for child advocacy centers in the state.