A Lowell nonprofit is building a home for pregnant women without a place to stay, and hopes to have it up and running in early 2018.
Mommy's Haven plans to be able to house up to four women and provide pregnancy resources to other expectant mothers in the community. The organization is holding a fundraiser later this month.
"Maternity homes themselves are nationwide, all over," said Mommy's Haven President Lauren Mauk. "But in this area, the closest one for women over the age of 18 is an hour and a half away."
The facility will provide housing for women who were, say, kicked out of the house by their parents or boyfriend because they got pregnant. The organization began fundraising in late 2014, eventually earning enough money to buy and rehabilitate a home.
The house will have a living room, kitchen and be like a regular home, so as not to give it an "institutional feel," Mauk said. A "house mom" will live with the women, teaching them parenting skills.
While building its facility, Mommy's Haven has been assisting women with material needs, like baby clothes and diapers.
"Our vision is to not only be a house for four women at a time but also to be a community resource center for parents and pregnant women," Mauk said. "A lot of times women will call us. They don't actually need housing, but we find ourselves referring them to assistance programs that can help them meet their needs."