Since 2003, I have had the good fortune to be a witness to the work Mother’s Refuge has done in our community in helping young girls when they need it most.
Providing a New Life for Homeless, Pregnant Teenagers
Over the years Mother’s Refuge, located in Independence, Missouri, has been a saving force for over 1,000 special expectant moms. Special because they are predominantly teens who are living on the street, in shelters, or couch-surfing. Mother’s Refuge is a non-profit organization with a long track record of success which rescues these at-risk mothers to-be from a life of homelessness and poverty.
Often referred to Mother’s Refuge through hospitals, pregnancy resource centers, or school counselors, these expectant young moms are brought into a home and an environment where they have hope and prospects for a bright future.
The key to Mother’s Refuge is that they provide so much more than shelter and medical care. Mother’s Refuge has established a two-year program of education and life skill training to help these young moms become established in society. All moms attend daily classes on parenting, financial literacy, and maintain a household. They are required to finish their high school education or obtain a GED. After completing high school, they are encouraged to complete a certification program or attend higher education. They are also required to obtain jobs after they complete high school.
Mother’s Refuge has established key partners in the community to help support these at-risk moms. One of their partners is the Independence School District who not only provide education, but free day care for their babies. In order to create further stability, Moms and their babies can stay at Mother Refuge for up to 2 years after giving birth. How good is that!
Most recently, Mother Refuge’s leadership is working hard to expand their services to provide transitional housing. During a 3- year period from the time a mom and her baby leave the MR house, the moms will have the opportunity to live independently and working to earn a living. The plan is to require moms to pay 30% of income as rent which they will get back when they leave their stay in transitional housing.
When I was on the Board of Directors at Mother’s Refuge we struggled to raise $50,000 a year in private donations. But Kansas Citians, far and wide, have stepped up in a big way to provide the critical funds. A special thank you to the Kansas City business community as it has been the difference in allowing Mother’s Refuge to being in position to offer transitional living for these moms/babies and keep them in good care.
If you or your business would like to partner with Mother’s Refuge, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you in touch with the right people at MR.