Foundation House Ministries, a local organization which helps women facing unplanned pregnancies, recently got a new house. Much of what the organization does revolves around running a maternity …
Foundation House Ministries, a local organization which helps women facing unplanned pregnancies, recently got a new house.
Much of what the organization does revolves around running a maternity home in Bradley County to help those who are pregnant and homeless. Suzanne Burns, executive director of Foundation House Ministries, said the organization’s recent move to a new house “tripled” the number of women it can help at a time.
The Christian nonprofit was not actively house-hunting, but Burns said the recent move was evidence of “God’s good timing and favor on this organization.”
Burns was speaking at a church and mentioned Foundation House’s goal to expand the number of women it can house. Afterward, she was approached by a couple who had a house which might better suit the organization’s needs.
“It was just unbelievably perfect,” said Burns.
The organization was able to lease a house which has a well-equipped kitchen, multiple living areas and several “little cubbyhole rooms” which Burns says allow more women to have their own private spaces. The unique house was built by a family of missionaries who liked to have large family gatherings.
The new house — referred to as The Long House — boasts five regular bedrooms, as well as a room with bunk beds which can house up to four woman during an initial “assessment period.” The previous house just had three bedrooms, which Burns said limited the organization’s ability to grow.
“We knew this would allow us to work with more women and have the women living there now not feel they are being rushed out,” Burns said.
How long a woman stays in Foundation House Ministries’ residential program varies from woman to woman. Burns said staff try to make sure each new mother reaches a state of “sustainable stability” first, ensuring they are able to find work and cover the costs of things like food, rent and childcare.
Burns noted it can take at least a couple years for some to be in a good place financially after finding themselves as homeless single mothers. Among the organization’s future goals are to look at ways to provide transitional housing to women leaving The Long House.
However, Burns stressed the organization’s staff are excited about the addition of The Long House, because it furthers their mission of helping mothers provide good lives for their babies once they arrive.
“A baby is going to be raised in the manner the mother is equipped to provide,” Burns said. “We believe that the best way to help the child is to help the mother provide stability.”
The exact location of The Long House is kept secret in order to protect the clients. However, Burns said people can rest assured the house is serving its purpose as a home to single mothers trying to get on their feet.
The organization is currently inviting people to “sponsor” rooms in the new house for $500. These sponsors will have their names on signs marking each room, and the sponsorships will help provide sheets, pillows and other household items to help residents feel at home.
For more information on Foundation House Ministries or to donate, visit www.foundationhouseministries.org.
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