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Wawa, Northern Home, Councilman Celebrate Renovation

Roxborough institution to updates housing for homeless teenage mothers.

The home on the hill will get a facelift thanks to a corporate donor.

Northern Children's Services (formerly ) broke ground on the renovation of Merrick Hall and the new construction of permanent housing to aid homeless teenage mothers.

The construction can occur in large part because Wawa donated $430,000 to the Roxborough complex. 

“This groundbreaking event puts a spotlight on the extraordinary 25-year partnership Wawa and Northern Home for Children have built together over the years and the incredible impact we have had on so many children’s lives,” Wawa President Chris Gheysens said in a news release.

“Our lead commitment to the Merrick Hall renovation truly could have never been possible without the generosity of our customers and associates who have helped raise funds in our stores or without the passion this partnership brings to everyone at Wawa and Northern Home for Children who continue to work to make a difference.” 

NCS also received a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, according to the home's website.

Originally founded in 1853 as housing option for the city's children, Northern Children Services has morphed over the years into a safe haven for children and a safety net for children and families facing extraordinary challenges. In addition to school services and programing throughout the city, NCS houses pregnant teenagers and mothers  through its Generation Programs.

The Wawa donation allows an update to Merrick Hall, the oldest building on the six-acre campus.

"This project is an exciting turning point in the history of our agency," NCS President Tracey Lavallias said. “It allows us to expand our continuum of support to young women who are pregnant, post pregnancy as they raise their young children and finally to permanent housing for the entire family. We are so grateful to Wawa and our many supporters for helping make this dream a reality and enabling us to expand our mission to serve this population” 

(D-4) helped with groundbreaking Monday, in addition to staff member Joshua Cohen, who is a NCS trustee, and Gheysens.

Visit the group's website for more information.

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