Wow- New Home for Homeless Teen Moms in Billings
There was a "day of action" at a church in Billings recently. Local faith-based organizations were invited to set up tables promoting their efforts so that folks coming and going from church could find out ways to get engaged in the community. What a cool concept.
One of the organizations that caught my eye is an outfit called "Love and SONShine." This is a faith based organization that is helping homeless young moms in Billings.
Love and SONshine recently celebrated the opening of their new SONshine Home at 514 N. 29th Street.
The house, formerly the Josephine Bed and Breakfast, has been renovated to accommodate Love and SONshine’s clients—homeless teenage moms and their new babies. The renovation project includes new siding, windows, flooring, roofing, fencing, landscaping, electrical work, plumbing, cabinetry, and furniture.
Heather Petty with Love and SONShine joined us in studio earlier this week. She says the home will also serve homeless moms up to the age of 21.
Petty: Montana has nearly 5,000 at-risk or homeless teens who are pregnant or parenting, yet just 19 shelter beds exist for homeless teen moms. SONshine Home will be one of only two such homes in Yellowstone County." SONshine Home residents will be able to stay for up to 18 months, though the national average maternity home stay is 4-6 months. They may stay longer if they are still enrolled in high school or working to complete their Hi-SET.
According to a press release, "Funding for the $1.1 million property purchase and renovation was provided by many generous foundations including the Harnish Foundation, Gianforte Family Foundation, Charles M. Bair Family Trust, First Interstate BancSystem Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and Stockman Bank; and numerous individual community members, businesses, and the Billings faith community, including First Christian Church."
Gianforte Family Foundation Executive Director Catherine Koenen added this:
Homelessness is on the rise in Montana and homeless teens are especially vulnerable. The new SONshine Home will provide a safe, loving place for teenage moms to learn the skills they need for parenting their precious babies.
Full audio of our chat with Heather Petty:
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Gallery Credit: Stacker