Florence Crittenton serves to empower and support women, girls and families


FLORENCE CRITTENTON PROVIDES SERVICES AND PROGRAMS TO EDUCATE AND EMPOWER GIRLS TO BECOME PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION IS DOCTOR KELLIE WARREN, C-E-O FOR FLORENCE CRITTENTON. DOCTOR WARREN WELCOME TO "HORIZONTE."

Warren: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Jose: I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE A SENSE A PRETTY GOOD SENSE OF WHAT FLORENCE CRITTENTON DOES, BUT THEY MAY BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN DOING IT.

Warren: WE HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR OVER A HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS ALL ABOUT THE EMPOWERMENT AND SUPPORT OF WOMEN GIRLS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Jose: AND THAT'S BEEN THE FOCUS FROM THE BEGINNING?

YES, A STRONG FOCUS ON THE VULNERABLE POPULATIONS THAT REALLY DIDN'T HAVE A VOICE. SO
OUR FOUNDER CHARLES CRITTENTON AFTER LOSING HIS DAUGHTER TO A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS WENT AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING ARIZONA TO OPEN HOMES TO THE LOST AND FALLEN. AND IN THIS STATE WE WERE KNOWN AS A PLACE WHERE UNWED MOTHERS AT A TIME WHEN THERE WAS A STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH BEING A PARENT MOTHER WITHOUT A HUSBAND.

Jose: IS THAT STILL A PART OF WHAT CRITTENTON PROVIDE? A PLACE FOR UNWED MOTHERS

Warren: I WOULD SAY WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO TEENAGE MOTHERS AT THIS POINT. THEY HAVE A GROUP HOME CALLED GIRLS RANCH. WHERE THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE AROUND 12 TO AGE 18. WE HOUSE THEM IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT TO LEARN PARENTING SKILLS, LIFE SKILLS, AND THE SKILLS THAT IT TAKES TO BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT. THAT'S ONE AREA OF THE PROGRAM AND SERVICES THAT STILL LIVES. BUT TODAY, THERE IS A LOT OF SUPPORT OF THE MOTHERS THAT CHOOSE TO HAVE THEIR CHILDREN VERSUS IN THE PAST WHEN THERE WASN’T A LOT OF OPTIONS. THE GOAL WAS GO AWAY OUT OF STATE, HAVE YOUR CHILD, PUT IT UP FOR ADOPTION AND RETURN HOME AS IF NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.

Jose: IN ADDITION TO HELPING THOSE YOUN WOMEN YOU WORK WITH A LOT OF WOMEN HAVING WHATEVER KIND OF PROBLEMS AND THE FOCUS IS GETTING THEM BACK IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR FAMILY.

Warren: YES WE HAVE GIRLS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM AS YOUNG AS AGE 10. AND THEY RECEIVE INDIVIDUAL FAMILY GROUP THERAPY. THEY LIVE ON OUR CAMPUS. WE HAVE QUALIFIED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS THAT WORK WITH THEM DEALING WITH THEIR TRAUMA. SOME OF THEM HAVE NEGLET AND ABUSE ISSUES SOME OF THEM ARE THERE TO HEAL AND GET BETTER. SO AS YOUNG AS 10 THEY START IN OUR PROGRAMS.

Jose: HOW MANY WOMEN DO YOU SERVE?

Warren: SO IN THAT PROGRAM, WE SERVE UP TO 40 GIRLS ON ANY GIVEN DAY, SO THEY’RE AGE 10 TO 18 AT OUR GROUP HOME. FOR GIRLS RANCH, THE PARENTING AND PREGNANT GIRLS, WE HAVE THEM 15, 25 OR SO ON ANY GIVEN DAY. BUT WE ALSO HAVE HOUSING FOR YOUNG ADULT WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN. WE HAVE IN HOME SERVICES WHERE WE BRING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS INTO THE HOME TO WORK WITH THAT POPULATION OF INDIVIDUALS, AND WE HAVE AN ALL GIRL HIGH SCHOOL. WE IMPACT OVER A THOUSAND GIRLS PER YEAR THROUGH OUR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES.

Jose: IS THERE AN AGE IN WHICH THESES YOUNG GIRLS AGE OUT OF THE PROGRAM THEYRE MO LONGER ELIGIBLE?

Warren: WELL WE GO INTO THE COMMUNITY WHERE WE PROVIDE SERVICES TO ADOPT AS WELL. SO WE HAVE A CAPACITY THROUGH OUR PROGRAM AND SERVICES AND OUR FULL CONTINUE OF CARE TO PROVIDE SERVICES AT ALL POINTS. SO AS YOUNG AS 10 TO ADULTS.

Jose: AND WHAT KINDS OF SERVICES WOULD YOU BE PROVIDING TO ADULTS?

Warren: LIFE SKILL, LIFE SELF-SUFFICIENCY, BEHAVIOR HEALTH SERVICES, SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, INSTEAD OF HAVING THOSE SERVICES PRIMARILY BEHIND OUR WALL WE FOLLOW THOSE INDIVIDUALS INTO THE COMMUNITY SO WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO GET THOSE SERVICES IN HOME. BECAUSE OFTEN TIMES TRANSPORTATION AND CHILD CARE MAY BE BARRIERS TO GETTING THE FAMILIES AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO US. SO WE HAVE THE ABILTY TO COME TO THEM WITH OUR TEAM.


Jose: YOU MENTIONED THE HIGH SCHOOL. IT'S A RELATIVELY NEW VENTURE, 2011 YOU STARTED THAT? TELL US ABOUT THAT ONE

Warren: ALL GIRL PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL THE ONLY IN THE STATE. WE HAD A CRITTENTON BILL PASS. REALLY SUPPORTING SINGLE GENDER EDUCATION OUR GIRLS 9TH TO 12TH GRADE REALLY WORK ON LEADERSHIP, EMPOWERMENT, PUBLIC SPEAKING AND COLLEGE PREPARATION.

Jose: WE GOT SOME PICTURES WE WANT TO PUT UP ON THE SCREEN, EVIDENCING THE SUCCESS THAT YOU HAVE. GIRL'S LEADERSHIP ACADEMY, THIS PICTURE OF THESE YOUNG WOMEN. TELL US WHAT IS INVOLVED THERE?

Warren: THAT'S THE HONOR SOCIETY. SO THE GOOD PIECE OF CRITTENTON IS WE’RE EVER EVOLVING WE STAY TUNED TO THE VOICES OF GIRLS AND WHAT THEY NEED FROM US. WE STARTED FOCUSING ON THE RIGOR IN OUR CURRICULUM IN OUR CLASSES. BUT OUR GIRLS SAID WE WANT HONOR SOCIETYWE WANT A PROM. SO IN THAT PICTURE YOU SEE RIGHT THERE IT’S OUR FIRST GIRLS THAT ARE PART OF OUR NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY.

Jose: AND I THINK WE GOT ANOTHER PICTURE THIS SHOWED UP WHILE WE WERE TALKING OF SENIORS ON THEIR WAY TO PHOENIX COLLEGE?



Warren: YES. COLLEGE PREPARATION IS A FOUNDATIONAL PIECE OF WHAT WE OFFER. OUR GIRLS AS YOUNG AS FRESHMAN YEAR ARE WORKING TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE. WE DON’T WANT THEM TO JUST ENTER COLLEGE WE WANT THEM TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE IT. WE HAVE RIGOR, COLLEGE PREPARATORY CLASSES AND WE ALSO HAVE COLLEGE COURSES. DURING THEIR SENIOR YEAR, OUR GIRLS ARE ABLE TO THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP WITH PHOENIX COLLEGE TO ACTUALLY ATTEND COLLEGE ON THE CAMPUS. BECAUSE IT'S VERY SCARY AND UNFAMILIAR TO GO TO COLLEGE HAVING SO MUCH SUPPORT IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THEN YOU ARE KIND OF ON YOUR OWN. SO WE’RE HAVING THEM REHEARSE PRACTICE AND RECEIVE COLLEGE CREDITS WHILE THEY ARE STILL WITH US.

Jose: SO AS I UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE 100% GRADUATION RATE THESE DAYS AND COLLEGE GOING RATE?

Warren: THE GOOD PIECE ABOUT OUR SERVICES IS GIRLS COME TO US AND THEY TEND TO STAY. AND THE REASONS FOR THEM LEAVING US HAVE TO DO WITH THEM RELOCATING, BUT THEY LOVE THAT SMALL INTIMATE ENVIRONMENT SMALL TEACHER TO STUDENT RATIO. THE SISTERHOOD THAT IS ESTABLISHED WHILE THEY ENJOY BEING WITH BOYS, OFTEN TIMES THAT CAN BE A DISTRACTION. IT'S ALL ABOUT THEM WORKING ON BEHALF OF EACH OTHER SO THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL.WE ARE ABLE TO EXPOSE THEM TO CAREERES AND DEGREES THAT OFTEN TIMES ARE PRESENTED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. SO THAT EMPOWERMENT THAT LEADERSHIP THAT SUPPORT. REALLY HELPS THEM NOT ONLY PREPARE FOR COLLEGE NUT IT HELPS THEM COMLETE COLLEGE. SO EVERY YEAR, WE ACTUALLY, IN THE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEAR, WE HAVE HAD 100% ACCEPTANCE RATES FOR OUR GIRLS INTO COLLEGES. SOME OF OUR GIRLS ARE ATTENDING HONOR COLLEGES HERE WE HAVE SOME GIRLS OUT OF STATE AT ALL GIRL COLLEGES. WE WORK REALLY HARD FOR THEM TO PREPARE FOR SCHOLARSHIPS BECAUSE MANY OF OUR COMMUNITIES ARE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY, SO NOT ONLY DO THEY TAKE THE COLLEGE COURSES WITH US, MANY OF THEM START THEIR FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE WITH 25 TO 30 CREDITS, WE’RE ALSO WORKING ON SCHOLARSHIPS AND PREPARING THEIR FAMILIES TO COMPLETE THE COLLEGE APPLICATION, THE GIRLS TO DO THEIR LETTERS AND INTERVIEWS. WE DO ALL OF THAT. IT'S EMBEDDED IN THE CORE OF WHAT WE OFFER.


Jose: SO ONE OF THE THINGS YOU TOUCHED ON WHAT MAKES THE SCHOOL ATTRACTIVE. BECAUSE THE STUDENTS YOU HAVE THAT COME AREN'T NECESSARILY ONES THAT HAD ISSUES AND GRADUATED INTO THE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM. IT'S BECOME A REAL MAGNET FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT THE SMALL, SINGLE SEXED EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE.



Warren: AT NO COST. BECAUSE MANY OF THE FAMILIES WANT THAT FOR THEIR CHILDREN BUT THEY CAN'T AFFORD A PRIVATE SCHOOL. SO THE FACT THAT WE’RE A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL THAT’S FREE AND WE CATER TO GIRLS AND THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS. IT HAS DRAWN A LOT OF GIRLS TO US. SO WE HAVE OVER 120 SOME GIRLS ATTENDING AND THERE IS SMALL INTIMATE ENVIRONMENTS WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF GIRL ENERGY AND POWER GOING ON.


Jose: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT CRITTENTON HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS FUNDING LIKE MOST OTHER AGENCIES HAS BEEN AN ISSUE?

Warren: WE ALWAYS STRUGGLE OFTEN TIMES MEETING THE GAPS THROUGH FUNDING. SO WE DO A LOT OF FUNDRAISING. WE HAVE AMAZING DONORS WE HAVE END KIND OF SUPPORT FROM OUR COMMUNITY. I HAVE TO TELL YOU I BELIEVE WE ARE STILL ALIVE NOW, 120 YEARS NOT BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL OF THE RESOURCES OURSELVES, BUT OUR COMMUNITY DRAWS FORWARD AND HELPS US. WE HAVE A BIG SIGNATURE EVENT EVERY YEAR WHERE WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO DRAW 700 TO 800 PEOPLE --


Jose: AND WHEN YOU SAY SIGNATURE EVENT, YOU MEAN SIGNATURE EVENT. YOU TOLD ME BEFORE YOU CAME ON THE SET SOME OF THE SPEAKERS YOU’VE HAD.


Warren: CHRISSY METZ EVERYONE THAT WATCHES THIS IS US WILL KNOW HER AS KATE ON THE SHOW SHE WAS OUR SPEAKER JUST LAST WEEK. WE HAVE HAD SIMONE BILES, THE GYMNAST OLYMPIAN.WE’VE HAD JAYCEE LEE DUGARD WHO WAS ABDUCTED AT AGE 11 AND SHARING HER STORY OF RESILIENCE. WE DRAW SPEAKERS WHOSE BACKGROUND REALITIES REALLY RESONATE WITH OUR GIRLS.


Jose: WE TALKED A LITTLE BIT OF OUR FUNDING ISSUES AND DIFFICULTIES THAT YOU FACE. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN A SHIFT IN EPHASIS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL THAT IMPACTS THE KIND OF PROGRAMS YOU OFFER.



Warren: ONE OF THE MAJOR PROGRAMS THAT WE’VE OFFERED OVER THE YEARS IS THE GROUP HOME. BUT THERE’S BEEN A PENDULUM SHIFTING. THERE IS MORE DESIRE TO KEEP KIDS WITH THEIR FAMILIES FOSTER CARE, KINSHIP, REUNIFY THEM WITH THEIR PARENTS IF THEY HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY AND LAST SUPPORT AND FUNDING FOR GROUP HOMES. I STILL THINK GROUP HOMES ARE NECESSARY BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF NEEDS THAT SOME OF OUR GIRLS ARE PRESENTED WITH. I THINK IT TAKES A FULL TEAM TO HELP THEM HEAL. HOWEVER WE HAVE TO SHIFT WITH THE PENDULUM SO WE ARE DOING MORE SERVICES IN THE HOME AS A RESULT.

Jose: YOU ALSO MENTIONED TO ME YOU ALSO HAVE SOMETHING COMING UP THAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN.

Warren: I WANT EVERYONE LISTENING TO GO INTO YOUR CLOSET AND FIND ANYTHING YOU WERE READY TO THROW OUT, CLOTHING. FURNITURE, WE HAVE A THRIFT STORE IT’S CALLED FLO’S ON 7TH. AND IN SEPTEMBER SO YOU HAVE TIME WE ARE LOOKING FOR GENTLY USED OR NEW HANDBAGS AND SHOES. WE HAVE A BIG EVENT CALLED HEELS FOR HEALING AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER, THE LAST SATURDAY IN SEPTEMBER. WE ASK OUR COMMUNITY TO COME FORWARD AND BRING THOSE GIFTS TO US. WE RESELL THEM ON BEHALF OF OUR AGENCY. 100% OF THE NET PROCEEDS GO BACK AND SUPPORT US. SO AT OUR THRIFT STORE WE HAVE A DIVA DASH, WE HAVE A HIGH HEEL RACE, MALES AND FEMALES AND THEN WE HAVE A GOOD DAY OF SHOPPING WHERE PEOPLE BRING IN THE GREATEST TREASURE AND RESELL THEM.

Jose: THEY CAN FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THIS ON THE INTERNET?

Warren: YES.

Jose: DR. KELLIE WARREN THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON HORIZONTE TO TALK ABOUT FLORENCE CRITTENTON. IT’S A GREAT AGENCY.

Warren: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Jose: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR "HORIZONTE" AND ARIZONA PBS. IM JOSE CARDENAS
HAVE A GOOD EVENING.

Founded in 1896 by Charles Crittenton, Florence Crittenton works effortlessly to support and empower struggling women and girls all around the world, including Arizona.

Arizona’s Crittenton has been known as the place for unwed mothers when there was a stigma around being a husband-less mother. Today, there’s less of a stigma surrounding women who want to keep their children. Girls Ranch, a group home, is a safe environment for girls 12 to 18 years old to learn life skills and how to become self-sufficient.

“We have girls in our residential program as young as age 10 and they receive individual group family therapy,” Chief Executive Officer at Florence Crittenton Dr. Kellie Warren says. “They live on our campus. We have qualified mental health professionals who live with them, dealing with their trauma.”

There are about 40 girls on any given day who benefit from that program. Within Girls Ranch and the service for young mothers, there are about 15 to 25 girls a day who take advantage of the service. In addition to those services, there is also an all-girl public high school, the only one of its kind in the state. Over 1,000 girls are affected every year because of these programs.

The all-girl high school is available for girls in grades 9th through 12th. There’s a strong focus on empowerment, public speaking and college preparation.

Florence Crittenton is hosting an event at the end of September to collect clothing, hand bags, shoes and furniture. They’ll resell the items in their thrift store. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go back to support the programs.

For more information on Florence Crittenton, visit flocrit.org.

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In this segment:

Dr. Kellie Warren: Chief Executive Officer, Florence Crittenton

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