Green Bay group home for teenage mothers closing its doors

GREEN BAY – A Green Bay group home for teenage mothers is closing its doors at the end of the month.

Marion House has been serving the community for two decades.

The group home is located on Green Bay’s west side on North Taylor Street.

Raven Coley and her daughter Nevaeh will have to find a new place to call home.

“I’ve lived here for about two years,” said Coley.

During that time Coley says Marion House has given her better opportunities.

“I think it was good for me to be here because if I would’ve stayed where I lived, I probably wouldn’t have graduated,” Coley said.

Now Coley has her high school diploma.

She’s also gained some parenting skills from Marion House.

“[I've learned] not to co-sleep with your child and how to feed your child the right stuff,” Coley said.

The group home opened in 1994. And today is the last remaining group home for teenaged mothers in Wisconsin.

“The need for group home type housing for young teenage mothers and their children has changed dramatically. The counties that were placing historically with us are now looking to do relative placement,” said Marion House Board Member Ann Weiss.

The organization also lost federal funding.

Marion House also offers transitional apartments for teen moms. Now the building, along with the group home, and all other assets will belong to Freedom House.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Freedom House President Robyn Davis.

Freedom House supports homeless families and gives them the skills they need to live on their own.

The home is currently helping 12 families. Freedom House’s president says 44 families are on a waiting list.

“It will mean that we can help more people. We will not be using the assets here as a shelter. It’s purely going to be for transitional housing and then we’re going to determine what the next step will be for the use of the group home,” Davis said.

Davis says families will most likely move into the building within the next couple of months.

As for Coley, she says she’s sad to see Marion House close but she’s working and looking for a new apartment.

Marion House says it’s currently helping about six young women find new places to live.

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