Juvenile violence update: First look at Universal Parenting Place

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As part of an effort to decrease juvenile violence and other problems in Memphis, two Universal Parenting Places are opening April 20th.

The locations are at Knowledge Quest on College Park Drive and Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women on Humphreys.

WREG got an exclusive first look at the Baptist Women's location.

"We're using fun colors. This is some decorations that will be on the wall," Jenny Nevels with Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation said.

"It's very different model than a traditional social service model. We're here to try to prevent issues early before they start," site director Paige Marcantel said.

WREG's tour guides explained how the locations are meant to help any parents with questions. There is also a safe space for young children to wait.

Parenting centers are a part of the mayor's plan to combat youth violence, which he announced last fall.

City leaders previously told WREG they hoped to see the parenting centers open in Mid-March. Now, both locations will be unveiled April 16. They will be open to help parents April 20.

People working on the project explained the opening was always tentative, so the opening isn't necessarily delayed.

Nevels said the Universal Parenting Places are based on research and function as a collaborative effort between Baptist, Knowledge Quest, and Porter Leath. It is a two-year pilot program with free services, thanks to private funding.

Nevels said the Universal Parenting Places will maintain a good working relationship with other social services in the community to refer people with different needs. She said doctors at Baptist Women's are prepared to begin referring parents to the Universal Parenting Place at the time of pregnancy.

Parents who are interested in making an appointment may call 901-227-9558.