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St Martin’s Village finds itself in limbo, a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the facility.
Recently, allegations surfaced stating that there are no longer children in St Martin’s care and that the facility will soon be closing its doors.
Opening up on the matter, Lutheran Church Pastor Thomas Beneke explained that the property on which St Martin’s Village operates has been put on the market by its owners. “The property was rezoned in 2021, and the land will be turned into small holdings,” he began.
On top of this, St Martin’s house mother has officially retired at the end of July 2022.
The home is structured in such a way, that children are placed in temporary safe care or foster care with a screened and approved individual living on the property. This involves extensive background checks, training and being accredited with the Department of Social Development.
With this said, Pastor Thomas pointed out that children who were placed in the previous housemother’s care, had to be relocated. “The children were fortunately placed with families within the community and through the St Martin’s Village kindergarden, some are still part of the St Martin’s family,” he assured.
With the property being put on the market and no children currently on the premises, what is the next step forward for St Martin’s Village?
Pastor Thomas stated that while the property was currently for sale, he and other community members were determined to keep the home open. “We are currently in discussions to see if we can continue running from where we are, while also trying to find another property to run from.”
As for employing another housemother, Pastor Thomas explained that a number of potential housemothers are being looked at.
“But we will only make the decision once we are certain about the property. We felt that we could not have a new housemother move in, if we did not have a bit more certainty about the future of the property,” he highlighted, further emphasising that those involved in the project would not give up on St Martin’s, as they strongly believed there was a need for the facility.
Facing a rather uncertain future, the time has come for Newcastillians to unite and rally together in support of St Martin’s and the destitute and abandoned babies that call it home.
For those wanting to help St Martin’s during this trying time, contact Pastor Thomas Beneke on 081 387 9152.
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