First Step Centre, a drop in located in Odessa’s city centre, began back in 2000 in response to the many children living on the streets of Odessa and it continues to offer many vital services to at-risk and needy children today. In 2011, First Step Centre welcomed 186 visitors; 83 of them visited for the very first time. On average, about 30 kids a day visit the Centre. To help you understand who we are helping, our report from October 2011 indicated that of the 170 children that came that month, 97 of them were under 12 years of age and 38 of those were pre-school age! Their needs ranged from daily meals to clothing, from medical care (surgery or treatment for TB, syphilis, Aids or some other infection) to prison visits, from helping the kids find jobs to helping them get into school, from returning run-away kids to orphanages to getting others into rehab programs. There were also 15 families whose children were returned home!
First Step Centre is served by a committed staff and volunteer base from a range of local faith communities. They provide many necessities of life for kids plus offer them a safe haven to get cleaned up, fed up and loved.