Hannah’s House Celebrates 20 Years
May 17, 2013
This week I had the opportunity to visit Hannah’s House, a maternity home for women in Mishawaka. What a blessing! Opened in 1993 with the support of Bethel College, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Saint Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka and Women’s Care Center, Hannah’s House serves dozens of local women each year. Women move in during pregnancy and move out within months of giving birth. Women are invited to pay $5.00 a day to live there if they have it, but no one is turned away if they can’t pay.
While at Hannah’s House, the residents prepare for a stable life after baby comes. They work on their education or seek employment, learn about managing a home for them and their baby, and develop newborn care and parenting skills. A house mom is onsite 24 hours a day.
During the last 20 years, Hannah’s House has established a positive reputation in the area and inquiries from pregnant moms keep rolling in. Unfortunately, with just one house on a residential street, there is more demand than space available. Thankfully, donors joined together to grow Hannah’s House. A house was donated on the same block as Hannah’s House and funds were raised for operating costs of a home to serve up to 20 more women and 20 more babies each year! The Killilea House, named after founders Bill and Diane Killilea, was dedicated on May 10 and will open its doors soon.
I was impressed by the comfortable atmosphere of Hannah’s House. On my tour, a mom relaxed in a family room-type setting with her beautiful, smiling newborn. Soon she’ll be leaving Hannah’s House to start an independent life for her and her little girl, but now she seemed completely at ease. Hannah’s House didn’t have an institutional feel like one might expect.
I was also impressed by the longevity of Hannah’s House. Twenty years of existence says something about the gift they are offering women. And it’s hard to fathom just how many thousands of volunteer hours have gone into operating Hannah’s House throughout the years. During my short visit, two volunteers sorted donated baby and home goods that the moms can earn as they go out on their own.
Hannah’s House is a gem in the Mishawaka area. It’s encouraging to see a community come together to support mothers choosing life for their babies! Happy 20th Anniversary, Hannah’s House!