A Place of Provision, Parenting and Peace
Their backgrounds are all different; however their goal is the same; to seek shelter and safety for their baby. Various reasons may bring them there: an abusive situation, rejected by family, being homeless or human trafficking. Whatever the reason may be Mother’s Refuge calls out to hurting young mother’s to provide an oasis of love and compassion.
At Mother’s Refuge, the motto for the shelter rings true to all the scared and pregnant young women who enter its portal: Providing shelter, help and hope.
“A shelter from the storms of life,” adds Susan Hill, volunteer and events coordinator for the facility. “I look at it as a ministry and that’s why I landed here. And it’s not just giving the girls a place of shelter from the elements of the world but we’re teaching them to prepare for life, how to support one another – it’s not just giving handouts, it’s giving them a hand up in this world.”
Mother’s Refuge is one of two shelters in the Greater Kansas City Area that provides shelter and assistance for pregnant young women. The home which is nestled in a quiet neighborhood is large and houses 14 girls and their babies. Residents are allowed to stay up to a year after the birth of their child.
Julie Johnson, case manager for the shelter says as soon as they are enrolled in the program they get the girls on their feet. “We get them enrolled in school, help them set goals in addition to helping them get their doctors’ appointments in order, insurance and everything in between.”
The programs provided at the shelter are like a well-oiled machine. For some girls, it’s the first organization and order they’ve ever had in their lives. For others, it’s the first true type of love, compassion and ‘mothering’ they have ever seen or felt.
Cassie Lara, education coordinator for the shelter guides the girls through a Five Step Program that allows them to gain a sense of accomplishment and respect for themselves and others. Divided into five weeks, the girls start out with earning fake money and encouragement slips by cleaning, cooking, doing chores around the house, doing homework, attending school and appointments. “I started as an intern here five years ago and just the environment and how the program educates and empowers the girls was a huge draw for me. They’re more than just a number or stat; they’re a human being and have needs and above all – need help.”
As the staff offers help and assistance to the young girls, the community around them reaches out to help the shelter. Susan says that many businesses around the metro area donate their services and products to enhance the quality of living for the girls. “We appreciate when a business wants to come beside us as we work toward providing a loving home for our residents and their babies,” she adds. Sallas Auto donated a car to one of the residents, Credit Law Center offers free legal and financial issues and Cole Termite Pest and Control donates regular inspections to name just a few.
Mother’s Refuge goal is to help the young mother who has no place to go, but the reality is the shelters ‘mothering’ paves the way for the young ladies to learn what being a loving and caring mom is all about.
“We want their lives to be better,” Susan says. “We want them to leave differently from when they came.”
For more information about Mother’s Refuge, visit MothersRefuge.org or to donate services, please call 816.353.8070. All donations are greatly appreciated.