Story and photo by Debbi Casini Klein | Audio edited by Louis D’Aria
It’s called Jeremiah’s Place, a crisis nursery where children from birth up to age six can go for a few days while their family is dealing with a crisis of any kind.
The idea began three years ago when pediatrician Dr. Lynne Williams met a little boy named Jeremiah.
“There was a little boy named Jeremiah who came into my parents foster home at the age of two months with significant medical troubles that was not being taken care of by his biological mother,” Williams said. “That kind of lead us to thinking that there needs to be a place where families who are stressed, or are in an emergency, and have a safe place to leave children so that after the emergency the kids could be back with the families again. “
That thought never went away, and soon after, she teamed up with Dr. Tammy Murdock, an obstetrician, and Eileen Sharbaugh, a retired school teacher, both who had known of the concept of a crisis nursery and wanted to open one in Pittsburgh.
After a few years of planning, Jeremiah’s Place opened two months ago. Typically the children stay up to three days and are returned home, but some do come back multiple times. Open 24 hours a day, they have enough beds for up to 12 children at a time.