The house, located in the Minnehaha neighborhood, will also offer life, parenting, and job skills training for single parent women, as well as mentoring, counseling, and tutoring
For Clark County Today
Did you know that a single parent must bring in an income of at least $31.33 per hour in Clark County in order to be able support that child in a two-bedroom apartment? The minimum wage in Washington state is currently $14.49, and many single mothers today became pregnant before they were able to ensure their financial independence. This makes it virtually impossible for a single parent to not rely on government assistance to raise their child.
“The system is broken,” said Heather Richardson, who is the director of the nonprofit, Heather’s House. Heather’s House will be a six-bedroom home where young, single pregnant women can live together in community, complete with social areas, kitchen, and a large dining hall.
The house, located in the Minnehaha neighborhood, will also offer life, parenting, and job skills training for the women, as well as mentoring, counseling, and tutoring.
“This home will be a city on the hill,” Richardson said. “It will be a safe place for hope, recovery, and redemption. A place for belonging.”
Richardson detailed her personal experience, where her boss came to her when she was a single mother years ago and told her she was getting a raise.
“I had to decline that raise,” she said through tears, “because if I had accepted it, I would have lost the government assistance for my childcare and then I wouldn’t have been able to afford to work.”
She said she’s always wanted to work and earn her own independence. Her heart for this organization is to allow other young mothers, who are hindered by the way the current government assistance programs are set up, a chance to make their own way with more reasonable costs of living and real-life assistance for raising their child. She and her husband will now be dedicating their time to this project.
On Sunday, the land of the future maternity home, which has already been purchased with plan approval, was dedicated with prayer and a neighborhood discussion. Previously, a home was located on the property, but it unfortunately was destroyed in a fire. The next step, Richardson said, is to wait for the county permit approval.
A team of volunteers attended the dedication, as well as a few neighbors who brought their questions and concerns. “Communication is going to be incredibly important,” Richardson said. “They have concerns, which is understandable, and we want to make sure we are good neighbors.”
Richardson said that the organization, which has zero paid employees, is in need of financial support through monetary donations, which can be earmarked for how the donor wishes it to be spent. The most immediate need, of course, is for the home to get built and furnished, and donations can be made by going to their GoFundMe site. The nonprofit also needs volunteers to help with the build, projects, and mentorships.
“This is a way for us to support young mothers,” Richardson said. “As Christians, we encourage women to choose life. But it’s important that we don’t just leave them once they make the decision. Heather’s House will allow us to come alongside them and support these women through their pregnancy and beyond.”
According to literature for Heather’s House, “Our mission to young single women who are pregnant or currently parenting an infant is to surround each with the love of Jesus so they can understand their true worth … As each girl ‘graduates’ from our program, they will be able to apply these truths into real-life situations and pass on what she has received to her child.”
To talk about how you can support Heather’s House financially or otherwise, you can contact Heather Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The temporary website is https://heathers-house.org/, and you can find Heather’s House on Facebook.
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