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Friday, June 1st, 2007

Celina ministry to expand

By Betty Lawrence
Celina's Harbor House Maternity Home recently acquired a similar facility in Norwalk and the organization currently is in the midst of a reorganization effort.
Both maternity homes, called Harbor House, Celina and Harbor House, Norwalk, will operate under an umbrella organization called Harbor Life Ministries (HLM), said the Rev. Bruce Head, director of the Celina home.
The staff at both homes remains undetermined at the present due to the reorganization, Head added.    The Celina maternity home opened in 1990 at the former Gibbons Hospital building on Fayette Street and can accommodate up to eight girls.
The newly acquired maternity home previously was known as Abby House. The two-story home, located in Norwalk, near Sandusky, can house up to six girls, plus a house family.
"We did not have to buy it, it was given to us by the people who operated it. They could not do it efficiently and had trouble staffing it, so they said if we run and staff it, they would give it to Harbor House," Head said.
The home is debt-free with enough funds available to operate a full year without any other support, according to a news release from Harbor House.
The agency will continue its Elizabeth Pregnancy Services for client and extended family support, the online hotline called and the Ohio Christian Maternity Homes, a network that supports other Christian maternity homes.
The addition of a second maternity home fits into the future of Harbor House, Head said.
"This is a very exciting time for us. Harbor House had been looking to expand its ministry operation and when the Norwalk home became available, it was like it was dropped out of heaven by God," he said.
Harbor House Maternity Home is one of only a few maternity homes in the United States to house pregnant teenage girls only. The girls live with houseparents in a family setting. It is licensed by the Ohio Department of Health.
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