The Essentials

Group housing in a maternity home setting can serve a wide variety of purposes.  A productive group housing program will address all areas of resident’s life in the present – physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, vocational – while also addressing past and future concerns. Several of the key purposes follow:

Housing helps remove some of the shame and guilt about the situation the women find themselves in. 

While unplanned pregnancies and resultant single parenting are much more acceptable in today’s society, there is still a certain amount of shame and guilt that naturally results from sinful behavior. Shame and guilt can be experienced by any of the different parties affected by the pregnancy – the woman, the birthfather, their parents and family members, and their friends.

On the other hand, shame and guilt has also been shown to impact women’s decisions against making an adoption plan for their child.  In a group housing setting, she can safely explore all of her options in an understanding and accepting environment.

Housing can be tremendous support for families.

A productive housing program supports the family structure and offers counseling that works toward reconciling relationships within the family. Sometimes when emotions are likely to be “running high,” a time of temporary physical, and even emotional, separation may allow for more effective communication. Individual and family counseling sessions can help each family member move towards healing and restoration and strengthen the overall family unit.

Very often, women need more than the counseling that a pregnancy center offers.

They need life skills and programs designed to meet their needs. It is hard to assess a birthmother’s root needs if you are only working with her on a limited basis. Seeing the woman functioning in different areas of her day-to-day life can help you see patterns and subtleties that may not appear during structured counseling sessions.

Last, housing meets the basic needs of people and this is a Biblical concept.

Scripture is very clear in many places that our responsibility is to house the needy and feed the hungry.

Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, we did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”                        (Matthew 25:34-40)

Jesus introduced to us the principle of full commitment to people. He chose 12 men and had them live, walk, and work with Him for three years. Instead of having the come to Him once a week, He chose to live with them. Eleven of those men helped change the world. We have found in our own personal lives that when we commit 24 hours a day seven days a week to a person, the greatest change possible is able to take place.