Recent merger will sustain family support in Southwest
TheVillage, also known and respected as Presbyterian Children’s Village since 1877, has provided professional and caring services in outpatient behavioral health, foster & kinship care, adoption, out-of-school nurture, and in-home services to thousands of Southwest families In the past decades, these activities have centered at the Preheim Center at 5517 Chester Ave.
Effective January 1, 2020 theVillage merged with Silver Springs – Martin Luther School. The latter group, which is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is even more venerable, offering child care based in Germantown and other nearby locations since 1859.
“Forming one organization under the name Gemma Services, will enable us to provide sustained and expanded care for children, youth, and families in the Philadelphia region,” recently advised Lynn Unipan, Chief Development Officer. Unipan affirmed that the spiritual roots of the two groups are the same.
Although personal contact is understandably restricted under the strict Covid-19 guidelines, “we are accepting new inquiries and some referrals. For information in these respects, Unipan suggested phoning the numbers listed for each service at the website, www.silver-springs.org/service
Why Gemma? In nature, a gemma is a young plant that grows and thrives independently, often after a disruption such as a rainstorm. The way the Gemma website phrases it, “When considering the work we do, promoting hope and healing through mental health services, education, and specialized support for vulnerable and at-risk children and families, we feel the meaning behind our new name reaffirms our belief that those we serve are absolutely precious and nothing is more important than creating and cultivating an environment where they are given the opportunity to grow, flourish, and shine.”