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Demand for Crisis Nursery Services Doubles in Past Year s

Rochester's Crisis Nursery is asking the community for donations and supplies to help meet an increasing demand for its services.

The program, operated by the Center for Youth, offers care for children aged newborn to 14 whose parent or caretaker has a true emergency.

The Crisis Nursery served approximately 830 children between January and September of this year - more than twice the number of children that were served in the same period last year.

Elaine Spaull, executive director at the Center for Youth, says the increased demand for emergency child care highlights the increasing number of Rochester families living in poverty.

Other single parents may not live near extended family members who could help with child care.

"The people who might have been there for you 20 years ago just aren't there anymore,” Spaull said. “And with so many people working and trying to work, the systems are all you can fall back on."

Spaull says the program plays a role in allowing some working parents to not have choose between their job and child care.                  

"Often, young women especially, are working at jobs where if you don't show up you don't get paid. And if you don't show up a couple of days in a row, you lose your job."

34-year old Sarah Cincotta of Rochester is a single mother whose multiple sclerosis and seizures mean she needs a safe place to bring her 2-year-old daughter when she gets ill or has a doctor's appointment.

"I'm able to come back and get her and she doesn't have to see things like the doctor's office, and IV tubes, and see me being sick. She's around really caring people who have open hearts and really care about her."

Cincotta suffered from a 20-hour seizure in April. When she was recovering in the hospital, she learned about the Crisis Nursery and said she now has an answer for social workers, lawyers and family members who want to know her plan for emergency care for her daughter, Pearl.

The Crisis Nursery relies on community donors, the United Way and other foundations for its funding.

Supporters are holding an open house at the nursery this Thursday evening from 6 to 8. It's located at 201 Genesee Park Boulevard.

In addition to monetary donations, Spaull said they need baby formula, hats, gloves, new underwear and socks for newborns to 12-year old children, and grocery gift cards.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.