The Times West Virginian

November 22, 2012

Stepping Stone provides ‘opportunity for a future’

For young men who need more help than their families can provide

By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Growing up is difficult for everybody.

But for kids with troubled families, it can seem impossible.

Stepping Stone Inc., a United Way of Marion County member agency, provides a home for young men who, for different reasons, need help that their families don’t or can’t provide.

“We provide a future, or an opportunity for a future,” said Heather Collins, Stepping Stone director. “We teach adolescent males to be positively self-reliant.”

The agency works through the court system, Collins said, dealing with boys who have been removed from their homes either because of neglect and abuse or because of their own behavioral issues. They provide housing and counseling for 10 boys between the ages of 12 and 21 at a time, though she said that the age spread is usually closer to 14-19.

“We have kids that come to us that have no one, that have no families, and we raise them,” Collins said.

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