SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- It’s been seven years since Springfield non-profit LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home opened its doors to pregnant women around the Ozarks.
LifeHouse is a 24/7 transitional care program that serves homeless pregnant women and their newborn infants and toddler children.
Over the years, the charity has helped women like Andrea get off the streets.
“I stayed on the street for a couple of weeks until I got into the shelter, and then I stayed there for about a month before I got into LifeHouse,” says Lifehouse resident Andrea.
Andrea now has a six-month-old daughter, Honey Marie. Andrea says she was evicted, and if it wasn’t for this program, she is not sure where she would’ve ended up.
“I’m glad that I was able to have the necessary support, nutrients, just services to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy daughter,” says Andrea.
Andrea says she used to be a heavy drinker, but she has stayed sober over the past year.
Lifehouse Program Manager Nikohl McKee sats the goal for women that come into the non-profit is to become better people overall.
“They do have those chores; they’re given out weekly. we do expect them to work whether that’s part-time, whether that’s full-time, whether they’re going to school,” says McKee.
Women at Lifehouse are also taught practical life skills like budgeting and applying for jobs.
“We work on transportation, paying off past bills, different things that may help them overcome the barriers that they had before they were here,” says McKee.
“It is possible, and there are people out there that want to help you and want to make sure you’re able to get through the struggles. You just need to reach out, and someone will be there to take your hand and help you,” says Andrea.
At the end of 2020, LifeHouse has been home to 151 women and 28 children born before moving in. After moving in, 96 babies, including three sets of twins, have been born. Since the pandemic, 12 babies have been born.