Wins for Kansas: Gerard House

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Hundreds of pregnant teenage girls have found a home, thanks to the generosity of the Gerard House.

The non-profit has been operating in Wichita for almost 30 years. Many of the girls who come through the door, never thought they'd end up there, but find Gerard House is a safe haven for pregnant teens.

"Sometimes girls come into our care because they have become pregnant, and their parents have kicked them out of the house," said Soutdaly Sysavath, Director of Community Programs.

She notes many of them are in the foster care system. "We want them to succeed, so we have to change our perspective and how we can help, versus looking down on them and saying, 'You made a mistake and now you have to live with it the rest of your life.'"

Along with helping young mothers finish their education, Gerard House, provides parenting classes, support and, most importantly, encouragement. 

"They just want to feel safe and they want to feel loved," Sysavath said. "So there's a lot of emotions involved in that. And it's very difficult to manage that as a 15- or 16-year-old, when you're just trying to get through life."

Gerard House was honored by DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers with a $500 Wins for Kansas grant.

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