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We’re In!

Chances are at some point you have ridden in a new car.  Maybe it wasn’t yours, but can you capture that “new car smell” in your mind?  Well it is probably fair to say that here at New Moms we are in “new car smell mode!”  After nearly six challenging, stretching, and sometimes even frustrating years, New Moms is now thrilled to be in a brand-new facility.

Those who have supported our work for any length of time know that on March 18, 2008, a tragic fire devastated the facility that provided housing to 20 young families.  Walking through the charred rubble and ash, one could not help but wonder if 25 years of effective work helping moms and kids had come to an end.  Where would we go? How could we recover?  And quite honestly, where was God in the midst of the tragedy?

Fast forward to October 1, 2013.  A group of staff, board, community  leaders, and young mothers and their children gathered to celebrate a true miracle!  We cut the ribbon and threw open the doors to a 52,000 square foot building at 5317 W. Chicago Avenue, in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.  We were all excited, but none as excited as the young women that would call this place “home.”  In fact they were overheard saying, “Let’s all keep a piece of the ribbon to hang in our apartments.”

On October 4, the moving trucks came and 23 families and all of the staff made the move to our new home together.  The move was filled with chaos, mayhem, tears, and laughter as we closed a difficult chapter of New Moms’ history and began the next in a facility that is truly beyond anything that we could have hoped for or even imagined!

The Transformation Center is a light, bright, tranquil space that is an eco-friendly, “green” building, and is certified LEED Silver.  It features 30 studio and 10 one-bedroom, fully furnished apartments as well as outstanding educational and program space.  The staff offices are bright, functional, and provide plenty of private meeting space that will allow staff to coach participants through various life situations.

A sizeable daycare facility in the building will provide high-quality, licensed daycare within a familiar environment for children who have lacked security and stability.  Parents will be confident that their children are safe and well cared for while they are working or attending school.

The ground floor houses a full-service commercial kitchen where participants can gain skills in planning and preparing nutritious meals.  There is also a large multi-purpose space that will function as a cafeteria and can be divided into smaller rooms or enjoyed as one big activity space. Architecturally, the centerpiece of the building is a large central courtyard, which will eventually have a children’s playground safe from any violence.

New Moms is so grateful for our new home and to everyone who supported us financially, with in-kind donations, volunteer time, or with your prayers!  Looking back over the last 6 years, it still seems like a dream to walk through the doors and know that this is “home.”  It also makes us thankful that even when we wondered “where is God?” that He was right there all along, nudging us forward, through the difficulty so that we could experience this blessing!