The Mother Teresa Maternity Home is a safe residence for pregnant women in need, a place where they can live during the time of their pregnancy and for three month after the birth of their child.
Why was the Home established?
Members of the community recognized that there was no other similar home in all of El Dorado County as well as in the entire area east and north of Sacramento. At the same time they saw the need for such a safe place for homeless or abused women.
Who were the founding community members?
Lucille Mosbacher, a long time participant in the Right to Life Movement and a member of St. Patrick’s parish, saw that the former convent across from St. Patrick’s was vacant and for sale. She suggested to Father John Sullivan that the convent would make a perfect home for needy, pregnant women. He recognized that this would be a worthy endeavor and took the convent off the market. Lucille presented her idea to Jane Meuser who enthusiastically began working on making the idea a reality.
A Board of Directors was formed, legal matters were settled, and a program was developed. A team of volunteers, under the direction of Jane Meuser, began the work of preparing for the first residents, turning the former convent into a home for six women with a private bedroom for each. A Home Director was hired as well as relief staff, since it was decided that twenty-four hour supervision would be provided. Financing would be from donations, fund-raisers, and grants, with no State of Federal monies. (If a resident has a source of income, she is asked to pay a program fee of $200 per month.) A committee of volunteers was formed to raise money for the Home and to help in various ways. It took nearly a year to make the Home a reality, and in December of 1998 the first woman moved in.
What More Can We Tell You?
- Mother Teresa Home is non-denominational. Many churches and civic organizations contribute to the running of the Home
- The Home is drug and alcohol free; random drug testing is done. Women who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse are required to attend NA/AA meetings five times a week.
- All residents must have a local doctor, cooperate in their health care, and deliver their babies at Marshall Hospital.
- Residents participate in appropriate services and counseling available in the community.
- Household chores and cooking are shared responsibilities overseen by the staff. While living at the Mother Teresa Home, women must develop a plan for when they leave the Home.
- Women are encouraged to complete their education, either working for a G.E.D., taking a vocational class or attending the community college. If they are not in school, they are encouraged to find a part-time job or to volunteer at a community program.
- Residents are allowed one over-night visit each week and are encourage to keep in contact with their families.
- The women who live at the Mother Teresa Home are expected to follow the house rules, participate in the available programs, and with the help of the Home Director and staff to prepare for the time when they return to the community.