A HEART FOR STUDENTS
This year, First Care Pregnancy Center celebrates 20 years on campus at our Minneapolis/University center!
From the initial small 900 square foot space with a single staff person in 1996, to the current 2,500 square foot space with four staff, God has blessed and expanded our reach on campus tremendously over the past 20 years.
Serving primarily college students ages 18-24, our First Care Pregnancy Center campus location has always been focused on providing quality help and the life-changing hope of the Gospel to students.
Executive Director, Tammy Kocher says, “What is unique about our campus center is that we are serving the age group most likely to have an abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Out of all of our First Care Pregnancy Center locations, the women and men we serve at this campus center state abortion as their intended choice most often. In addition, the rates of STDs are highest for this age group with 1 in 2 sexually active young adults contracting an STD by age 25. We have an incredible privilege to help students navigate difficult life choices and consequences with love and compassion.”
We have an incredible privilege to help students navigate difficult life choices and consequences with love and compassion.”
A BRIEF HISTORY
Christian Student Fellowship approached New Life requesting that we open a pregnancy center on campus. We responded and opened our first campus center on September 1, 1996 at 1515 Brook Ave. SE in a small 900 sq. ft. space.
The campus center moved just a few blocks away to 837 15th Ave. SE Although not much closer to campus, this location offered a more visible storefront at a busy intersection with signs visible 24 hours/day.
When a street level retail space in the same building became available, we made a short move upstairs to a much smaller, but very visible location at 308 Oak Street SE. This became our home for the next 6 years.
STD testing was launched in March 2013 at this location.
Kocher says, “The response to STD testing was overwhelmingly positive both from the students on campus and our community of supporters. Shortly after adding STD testing to this office, we began moving to add STD testing to additional locations with Rochester adding STD testing in 2014 and our Richfield location slated to begin offering testing within the next month.”
Our Client Care Nurse, Julie, discusses how STD testing is impacting the community and campus.
In the summer of 2013, we received notice that our landlord was not renewing our lease and would be renting our space to a restaurant. Our search for a new space led us off campus once again to a large space (more than double the size of our previous space) at 2929 University Ave. SE. with the added blessing of Christian landlords.
With this highly visible location (on light rail and bus lines), we saw all of our client numbers more than double and STD testing increased from just 60 tests in 2013 to 401 STD tests in 2015!
Perhaps the most difficult news came in the summer of 2015, when we were notified that the building where we were leasing would soon be sold and redeveloped. Our search unexpectedly led to a space for sale, directly across the street at 2900 University Ave. SE. Through the unexpected generosity of some supporters, we were able to purchase the space outright this past September, providing us with a permanent home in a high visibility area that has been proven to be effective in reaching students.