On February 7, 2015 I had the privilege of volunteering with the standing committee on Women and the Law through the Illinois State Bar Association. We volunteered as a group at a local housing complex and resource center called New Moms, Inc. The center was fascinating. The immaculate building was opened in October of 2013 to new mothers and their young children as a safe place for them to live.
The facility is absolutely beautiful. Everything looks completely brand new. New mothers and their children participate in weekly events. While we were there, there was a beauty themed brunch where the moms were able to have manicures and enjoy desserts. There is a cafeteria room where meals are served a few times per week. One of the most impressive things I saw, however, was the board in the front hall of the building, where the moms could proudly display the news of their obtaining of employment.
The facility offers job training for the moms, and seeks to help them become employed and get on their feet. There is a daycare facility that will be opening in the coming months on site as well, which makes it very convenient for these women to utilize child care while employed. The women and children are able to stay at the facility for up to two years while they try to become self-sufficient.
We, as a group, cleaned apartments that were being turned over for new tenants. The moms were provided a bed, a bed and/or crib for a younger child (or children), pots and pans, flatware and cooking supplies. Each studio or one bedroom apartment had a private bathroom and ample living space for a young family. They building is immaculately maintained by one maintenance man, so they are always looking for volunteers to help with cleaning and other work that needs to be done. They are a very worthy organization. They also take donations of cleaning supplies, childcare toiletries (baby wipes, diapers, lotions, shampoo) and toiletries for the young mothers as well. Their website is: http://newmomsinc.org/ and if you are looking for a wonderful volunteer opportunity I would highly recommend them. It was a wonderful experience and their program is outstanding.