Every day, thousands of women get pregnant, and thousands of women lose their jobs. For those women who experience both at the same time — or otherwise find themselves in a rough patch they cannot imagine raising a baby in — there is hope.
Hannah’s House is the answer, functioning as a shelter for women who have nowhere to go and are financially unprepared to raise a baby. For now, Hannah’s House is only capable of providing shelter for three women and three babies at a time.
“We’d love to expand if we had the money, but donations have been down because of the economy,” Stephanie Johnson, executive director of Hannah’s House, said. “The girls who get in are grateful; it starts to feel like home pretty fast.”
Women in their 20s and six to seven months pregnant are typically the ones to seek out Hannah’s House. According to Johnson, the average stay is 11 months.
“We give these women a safe, comfortable, homelike atmosphere to come and be in, one that makes the women feel safe,” said Johnson.
Hannah’s House provides many resources to the women, including a bedroom and clothes, diapers and other accessories for their babies. These items are donated to the ministry known as Hannah’s Attic. Typically, they ask for staple baby items like diapers, clothes and other gently used baby items such as cribs.
“Anything that a baby needs, we’ll take it — and if we’ve got it, [the girls] can have it,” said Johnson.
In addition to supplies, Hannah’s House provides the women with a mentor if they would like one, and volunteers come in on certain days to teach things like crafts and cooking. Nurses from Ingham County come and visit as well.
“We also partner with Michigan Works! to find jobs for the women,” said Johnson.
The requirements for women who seek shelter at Hannah’s House, aside from being pregnant and needing a place to stay, are that they are drug free, receive state aid for their groceries and medical treatments, and are willing to participate in daily devotions. After entering the house, they will be responsible for assigned chores and must adhere to a curfew.
Johnson noted that after the women leave when their baby is nine months old, as required, they typically return on visits to show off their babies.
“Being pregnant is not an easy thing,” said Johnson. “I think Hannah’s House really fills a niche in the community that no one else fills.”
625 N. Walnut St.
To donate or volunteer: (517) 482-5856