Local non-profit updated through rebranding, renovations

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Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Shawn Kirkpatrick
Opelika Observer

The new year is bringing new renovations and a new name to a local non-profit. “Most people know us as Haddie’s Home. We are going through a rebranding. Now we are just being called Haddie’s,” explains Gina Allen, Executive Director for Haddie’s. “The reason being to just give the girls some privacy. So not having the ‘home’ might be a little more discreet. So it’s just Haddie’s.”
The new sign is already up and outside the location. Allen said they are also renovating and adding a new room. The work on the building is almost finished. The new room will be used by one of the older girls who will be going to college to help her with the transition.
Haddie’s opened its doors in 2014 and is licensed by the state as a group home. Six to eight girls, ages 6 to 16, stay in the home year round. “The girls we take are going through a personal or family crisis,” Allen said. “That can be a variety of things. Some girls are homeless, some girls’ families blame it on hard times and need some extra support, some girls are trying to escape bullying from other schools.”
Allen said the girls start their day with a devotion, then do chores and head to school. “When they come home it’s like a normal family with whatever is going on. They have doctor’s appointments, they have after-school activities, one of our girls has a job and she goes to work. We really function as a normal family would, except their parents aren’t there with them.”
Haddie’s depends solely on private donations to keep the doors open. The non-profit does not receive state or federal grants. Families can contribute financially, but it is based on a sliding scale and their income.
“Most of the parents can’t contribute much. We don’t want it to be another burden that they have to pay something when they already have a crisis going on,” Allen said. “We don’t ever turn girls away if their family can’t pay.”
Allen explained that Haddie’s is not like foster care. It is a Christian-based home where parents who need extra help put their girls while they get their lives back together.
“We feel like by helping the girls and their families we want that to be a continuous cycle, not only helping them, but helping their children and our community and stop some of the factors that may lead to foster care.”
To donate to Haddie’s, visit haddieshome.com.

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