MOMMAS House exists primarily through the kindness of generous supporters who believe a mother should not have to choose between a roof over her head and her baby. Over 32 years ago, Patricia Shea, while working as a social worker witnessed first-hand the absence of hope that young pregnant and or parenting women living at-risk experience. Young pregnant women, upon giving birth and unwilling to part with their children through adoption placement, had no place to which they could bring their baby home to. Some of the young mothers were homeless– living in cars, sleeping on couches, surviving in temporary unstable situations. The infants of all these young mothers in crisis often became victims of child abuse and neglect. Pat recognized early on that sheltering this specific population within the homeless community was simply not enough.
These young mothers live in fear, isolation, and with the stigma and overwhelming stress of pregnancy. It quickly became apparent to Pat that these young women were in need of supervision, guidance and support. The solution was in a long term and multi-faceted approach providing access to programs and services designed to empower the whole woman. So in 1986, Pat along with a handful of volunteers, founded MOMMAS House. 32 years later, MOMMAS House has helped to change the lives of nearly 675 families. In 2017, there were 178 requests for admission and the list continues to grow.
Currently we operate 3 homes in Nassau County. In response to the growing need within this population, MOMMAS House purchased a new transitional residence located in Hempstead, New York. Opening by Spring of 2019, this residence will house an additional 15 families at any time in a given year– bringing the expected number of families we can help to approximately 50.
Specifically, MOMMAS House serves young mothers between the ages of 18-24 (pregnant and/or parenting) and their babies/children up to 5 years of age who are experiencing or facing life on the streets. MOMMAS House supports these young homeless women in need of a safe and healthy environment to overcome the barriers preventing self-sufficiency and independence. In addition to a unique extended-stay (up to 2 years) in a safe, structured and supportive residential setting, we offer each mother a comprehensive assessment designed to determine individualized and appropriate delivery of services, access to education, employment assistance and help with finding permanent housing.