Grant Spotlight: Almost Home

Each year, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet award funds to programs serving women and children in the St. Louis metro area through the Feuerbacher Grant Program. The program was established through a bequest from Father Ed Feuerbacher and, since its inception in 2005, the program has supported 49 organizations that are acquainted with a CSJ sister or associate and consistent with CSJ values.

In this grant spotlight, we feature Almost Home, a 2017 recipient of a Feuerbacher Grant, funding childcare support for homeless teenage mothers and their children in the St. Louis area.

Kalynn recently graduated from Almost Home's program and moved into her own apartment with her daughters Ky'ra & Makiya.

 by Abby Blaes, communications intern

Despite evolving to best meet the needs of young single mothers over the years, Almost Home’s focus has remained the same: to empower young moms to become self-sufficient and create a better future for themselves and their children. This mission aligns with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet’s dedication to support those in society who are most in need and most often marginalized. 

Because of this, Almost Home was awarded at Feuerbacher Grant to help those they serve.  Abby Nolan, development coordinator for Almost Home, answered some questions about their organization and how the Feuerbacher grant money is being used within Almost Home.

 

A mom attends case management & therapeutic counseling with Ms. Kayla, Almost Home's Clinical Case Manager.

Q: How has the grant money you received being used?

Abby Nolan: Almost Home is using grant money from CSJ to provide childcare stipends to our moms. This allows them to attend school or work, while knowing that their children will be cared for and safe.

Q: How have the people you’ve served, the young mothers and their children, responded to your organization and your programs?

AN: Young mothers and their children come to Almost Home and find a place to call their own. Each family gets their own private room, and our clinical case manager helps them create their own plan to achieve independence. Our young moms and their kids still experience the ups and downs of life, but know that they have a place to call home while they work on creating a better future.

Q: How has your organization grown over the years and how is it growing today?

AN: In 1993, Almost Home began in a home in South St. Louis, providing housing to six teen moms and their children. Today, we have our own facility in South St. Louis, and serve approximately 50 moms and 50 kids every year. We still provide housing, but we also over an expanded array of support services, including parenting education, therapeutic counseling, job-readiness training, and education support, like tutoring. Today, we’re looking forward to beginning a new employment training program for 21-30 year-old mothers, allowing us to serve an even greater number of single moms in St. Louis.

Q: Why do you feel your organization is important in today’s society?

AN: Although we’ve made so much progress as a society, generational poverty is still a major problem, especially low-income, single 16-20 year-old mothers. Even for young moms who are driven and dream of a better future, poverty places major roadblocks in the way of their success. Almost Home exists to equip these moms with the tools they need to get around these roadblocks, so that they can escape poverty and create a better future for themselves and their children.

Nailah works with her daughter A'myrah during one of our Parent Education classes.

 

September 2017

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