Pregnancy center hopes to open mothers’ home

Such donations fill the Cradle of Hope “Baby Shop”. Program participants use Mama Money to purchase supplies at the shop. (Photo submission)

Peggy Knudsen, executive director of Cradle of Hope, shared the vision, including the Mother’s Home, at the Mothers Association in Iowa in May of this year. (Photo submission)

MT. Fun — After her 15 years in Henry County, the Cradle of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center wants to expand its services to mothers in the new year.

According to Peggy Knudsen, executive director of Cradle of Hope, the organization wants to create homes for young mothers in Henry County who have no family ties.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more young, disconnected mothers having babies with nowhere to go and living on people’s couches,” Knudsen said. “Here, they go to classes and earn money to buy cribs, but there is nowhere to bring them.”

The Cradle of Hope acts as an educational and additional support for mothers and families.

Clients can receive pregnancy tests, exclusive ultrasounds and prenatal vitamins along with classes and resources at the cradle of their choice.

Knudsen describes the program as a type of mentorship that teaches new parents about newborn care, baby crying, and general life skills.

“We will be the weapons that support them,” Knudsen said.

“It used to be a place where you were surrounded by moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandmothers to help you,” she said. “It used to be families around young single moms who were pregnant and didn’t know what to do. Even young married moms.”

Cradle of Hope hopes to provide a space for these women and babies to have not just a roof over their heads, but a home environment.

“So I thought it was time to offer a place,” she said. “Not just a roof over your head, but a home environment. We want to give them a culture of not just life, but a rich life.”

The goal is to help the mother’s home for 6 to 18 months to plan the growth and exit of the woman.

Currently, Knudsen is still looking for a building.

“I’ve probably seen a dozen homes this week alone,” she said.

She believes they plan to pay cash for the house, but finding one is proving to be a difficult task.

Wanting to accommodate multiple mother-baby pairs at once, Knudsen is looking for homes with more than the average three bedrooms.

“There is zoning that needs to be considered,” said Knudsen. “So I’ve leaned towards places that are already zoned for bed and breakfast, boarding house, type buildings.”

“Anything is possible in Henry County,” she said. “I have to think about where all the doctors work, maybe where they work. Henry County is kind of a hub for the communities we serve.”

So Knudsen is looking at different options for the house, including land for construction.

She welcomes leads and donations to the Cradle of Hope venture to find the right place to create this home environment.

Additionally, Knudsen anticipates needing a large staff of paid volunteers to run the home.

“We look for social worker-type roles that help create individualized growth plans and meet with mothers weekly to check on them,” she said.

Other roles that need to be filled include home managers, housekeepers, child care providers, and maintenance of home and outdoor care.

Volunteers can help prepare meals and teach meal planning, grocery shopping, and budgeting.

Cradle of Hope welcomes donations to baby stores through the Target or Walmart registry and to the Mother’s Home campaign.


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