Our House Inc. in Greenville is an organization that provides educational and support services to groups, communities and direct client services based in the Mississippi Delta.
The organization began Healthy Relationship sessions in 2007 after receiving a grant through the Mississippi Department of Health.
The sessions originally started out to promote violence prevention and were only nine-week but as the organization attracted more schools and church groups, it developed into fourteen-week sessions.
"We have to educate the children to break the cycle of violence inside and outside of their homes," said Felicia Thomas, Healthy Relationship director.
Minister Joe McCall is the instructor for the Healthy Relationship coarse.
He has over 27 years of experience working with families and developing healthy relationships and encouraging abstinence before marriage as the only choice.
"I wish we could clone Mr. McCall and have him to go more places,” said Thomas.
According to the organization, research suggests that children, who grow up in a healthy marriage family, do better on a host of outcomes than those who do not.
They also suggest that many social problems affecting children, families and communities could be prevented if more children grew up in healthy, married families.
The Healthy Relationship sessions are designed to promote awareness in teens about the dangers and signs of unhealthy dating relationships.
"Not that we are encouraging it, but they are already dating, so we just try to make sure that they are well educated,” said Thomas.
“Jealousy is the number one warning sign of a possible abusive person, which could lead to an abusive relationship.
“A healthy dating relationship is one that is rich in equality; everyone should have an equal voice, communication, respect and both partners should feel secure", said Thomas.
The sessions will be held on Wednesdays and are usually one hour long.
"It is an awesome time, especially when they comprehend what is being said and it sets in," said McCall.
Because of the organization's success last year with East Side High School, they were asked to come back.
“We're looking to go into Rosedale high as well," said McCall.
"I feel that we were a success on last year because we were able to establish a relationship with the children.
"We are trying to get young people to be advocates for other young people and to become a voice for those who cannot speak up or out for themselves." said Thomas.
The organization has not set any officials dates for the sessions but McCall hopes to begin on Aug. 28.
He recently visited with both the Cleveland Board of Aldermen and the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors to let them know of the work he is doing in the city and county.
"Our House is a band aid for stopping violence,” McCall told the supervisors Monday.
“I tell the kids, ‘If you give me the opportunity to teach you, your GPA will change.’
“We're out to sound the alarm to stop violence", said McCall.
For more information about Our House Inc., contact Thomas at 662-332-5683.