Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church members have given Crisis Ministries $20,000 to launch a program for homeless children and their families living in the nonprofit's shelters.

The Old Village church's missions team chose Crisis Ministries from among 15 nonprofits that applied for its grants.

Crisis Ministries will use the money to help address the needs of homeless children by launching a child development program. The program will offer health screenings and behavioral therapy for children along with parenting groups and other services.

In fiscal year 2013, Crisis Ministries sheltered 144 children. Now, at a minimum, every child will receive a health screening to see what if any other services they need.

The addition builds on the church's long-standing partnership with Crisis Ministries, said John Hage, associate pastor for missions.

"With the rise of children and families experiencing homelessness, we know that this grant and program will help to meet the needs of a growing and vulnerable population," Hage said.

At least 124 Mount Pleasant Presbyterian members volunteer each month at the shelter. The church has been involved with Crisis Ministries since its birth, Hage added.

Stacey Denaux, CEO of Crisis Ministries, thanked church members for supporting the nonprofit's mission to end homelessness.

She said this marks an opportunity to expand its services, which historically have focused on adults.

"It is critical that we address the behavioral and developmental needs of homeless children so we can help them move beyond homelessness," Denaux said in a statement.

Founded in 1984, Crisis Ministries serves more than 1,900 men, women and children each year, and provides nearly 200,000 meals. Along with food and shelter, it also offers supportive services such as counseling, employment and educational programs, civil legal assistance, primary health care and more.

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