Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center, a community program through The Guidance Center in Southgate that helps maltreated and traumatized children in Wayne County, is launching a $1 million campaign to expand its program offerings and more fully restore a historic estate in Detroit’s Midtown district to establish a second permanent location for the program.
In 2014, The Guidance Center raised $1.1 million to acquire the historic estate at Woodward and Ferry, just north of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Park Shelton. The home, built in 1905 and a carriage house from 1900, were previously leased by the organization. The Southgate facility will remain the organization’s second fully-accredited location.
“We provide forensic interviews that are done in a child-friendly space,” says Kari Walker, CEO and president of The Guidance Center in Southgate. “The location in Midtown is a former residence. It’s not like going to a precinct or to an institutional building so it makes it easier on the kids.”
Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center, founded in 2001, offers services to children up to 17 years old who are victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or other forms of psychological trauma. Walker says the group also offers counseling and forensic exams.
“We also have a medical staff at (the Midtown) location who can do a forensic exam in, again, a very kid-friendly atmosphere — it’s not in the emergency room. We’re giving kids the opportunity to heal,” Walker says.
Building renovations will include making the historic Midtown home accessible to individuals with disabilities and renovating the kitchen as well as offer expanded services, such as more outreach and education.