Our Mother’s House
-a program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.
To provide single mothers and their pre-school children a safe and secure environment in which to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth.
Our Mother’s House, Mission
Our Mother’s House provides shelter and guidance for single mothers and their children who, without this program, would be homeless. Residents have their own apartments, volunteers assist with childcare in Head Start, located on site and dedicated to the families, while mothers are in school or working. Mothers work toward self-sufficiency while they are at Our Mother’s House. All are required to attend life skills classes, including, but not limited to parenting, self-esteem, nutrition, and budgeting. Mothers additionally agree to abide by house rules and regulations, to attend house meetings, and to accept communal responsibilities of everyday living.
In January of 2015 the Charles G. Wright Endowment for Humanity Board of Directors first learned of this program being offered to at-risk women and children in Venice, Florida, where the CGWEH offices are based. In keeping with the mission of our foundation, the Board approved a meeting and tour with Joyce O. Scott M.A. P.D., the program director of Our Mother’s House, to learn more about the services, operations, and general needs of the program.
Joyce Scott graciously welcomed CGWEH to Our Mother’s House, where we received a tour of the property, daycare center, offices, and a look inside one of the efficiency apartments. She described to us the lives of the women who come to Our Mother’s House, as a last resort. Many of the women and children now residing here were once homeless, or at risk for losing their homes. The work being done here to service those who find themselves at-risk, is an invaluable resource to our local community. Our Mother’s House doesn’t freely hand out opportunity to the applicants and residents of this program, the effort is made towards helping the mothers help themselves, they have to work hard for this opportunity, and that makes all the difference. CGWEH is proud to support the efforts of this charity, the residents of this community, and the women and children who will grow and thrive because of it all.
Our Mother’s House has recently announced their plans to expand! On the tour led by Joyce Scott, it was pointed out that the size of this program, accommodating up to 25 mother/child families per year, is one of the largest programs of this kind, and that an expansion would surely be a blessing considering the length of the waitlist to enter the program. Possible by spring of 2016, it is said that up to 5 more units will be made available through this expansion, which could result in helping up to 10 more families per year.
The building is adjacent to the current Our Mother’s House offices and apartments and will enlarge the program after it is renovated. Founded in 1987, Our Mother’s House has helped more than 300 mothers and their children.
“Out of a continuing concern for women who are homeless with young children, this acquisition will better position Our Mother’s House to respond to the great urgency that exists,” said Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida. “Helping homeless single mothers and their children have the opportunity to become self-sufficient is a priority. This program is expanding not for Catholics, but exists because we are Catholic. It is for all.”
Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo said the prospect of growing Our Mother’s House to assist more mothers and their children was a chance that could not be missed. “This expansion is the next natural step in developing this successful program of Catholic Charities that has supported so many women and their children to overcome homelessness through the years.
Our Mother’s House, www.catholiccharitiesdov.org/news
In February of 2015, CGWEH made it’s first contribution to Our Mother’s House. Offered also was creative way to boost the amount of funds raised by Our Mother’s House through local community groups and existing events. CGWEH has offered to match funds raised by these groups, up to $20,000 by October of 2015. It is our hope that this donation offer will help to increase the generosity of giving by those smaller organizations or individuals within our Venice community.
Please visit Our Mother’s House website by clicking here to learn more about their mission, programs, and how you can help contribute!
Written and Compiled by:
Laura Kathleen Wright
Charles G. Wright Endowment for Humanity