Mother's Refuge- A Hand-Up for Homeless Young Moms

Shelter and educate homeless pregnant and parenting young women by providing comprehensive services

Pregnant and parenting young women are one of the fastest growing homeless populations. Only 40% of pregnant and parenting moms finish high school, less than 2% earn their college degree before the age of 30, and 80% of these unmarried moms end up on welfare. This underserved populace are in desperate and dangerous situations with limited options. They are the hidden homeless. As a 24-hour shelter for young women, 12-21 years old, we provide a safe and loving home, educational support, nutritious food, clothing, case management, counseling, access to medical care, transportation, and life skills classes on pregnancy and parenting, health and nutrition, finance and career building, and self-improvement. We focus 100% on homeless, pregnant and parenting young women and babies. They enter our home any time during pregnancy and stay one year postpartum. All homeless moms work to earn their high school diploma or GED. We prepare them for a life of self-sufficiency and independence.

We provide a “hand-up”- not just a hand-out. We recognize and meet the emergency need by providing a safe and stable living environment. We aim to provide a place of healing and empowering education in order to assist young women in breaking the cycle of poverty to become successful, independent, young women and mothers. This will allow us to offer additional courses in life skills, including prenatal care, infant CPR, infant feeding, car seat safety, needs verses wants, emotion management, resume building, and interview preparation. We will also be able to support young moms as they complete their high school education through purchasing materials and offering tutoring. For example, one past resident arrived at our home after living under a bridge with the father of her baby. She quickly gained employment, saved 75% of her earned income, obtained her driver’s license, and she graduated with her GED. She now has a beautiful baby boy and has moved into her own apartment.

Since 1987, we provided shelter and resources to over 1,700 mothers and babies. In 2018, we provided 1,077 hours of education classes and activities, along with 4,338 overnight stays. We plan to serve 50 young women and their infants next year. Without Mother’s Refuge, many young moms and babies would not have a safe and loving home. Some would be stuck in an abusive situation, while others would be living on the streets or sleeping under bridges. With your support, we can ensure this at-risk population of young moms and babies are given the footing and resources to rise above their circumstances and become women who give back to their community. By providing a strong foundation of shelter and education, young women will be empowered to make successful life decisions for themselves and their babies. We believe that healthy families create healthy communities, and Mother’s Refuge is dedicated to assisting women and their babies in our area to help them reach their full potential.