Arlington nonprofit helps moms learn basic skills
Stacey Mcartney (left) and Sondra Cleveland joke around during the gift exchange.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Olivia Vaughn-Kolling, 4 months, scopes out the room as she is held by Kathy Hudec while the group at Lifehouse Ministries exchange Christmas gifts during a support meeting Dec. 16 in Arlington. Lifehouse is a faith-based group the helps pregnant women and single moms.
Life House Ministries, at 3710 168th St. NE, Suite B-103, is an effort years in the making, Executive Director Michelle Chisholm said.
The nondenominational Christian nonprofit opened its doors this spring. It offers weekly support groups and life-skills classes. In 2014, Chisholm hopes to add a housing program. Safe, stable housing is one of the biggest needs for young single women with babies, she said.
So far Life House has about a dozen regular clients, most in their late teens or early 20s.
Volunteers and supplies are needed. Most women in the area have to travel to Everett or Mount Vernon to get services, Chisholm said.
Life House distributes diapers and baby wipes. Classes for women cover personal finances, basic cooking and nutrition, child-rearing and healthy relationships, Chisholm said.
There's also mentoring, counseling, Bible study and legal aid.
"A lot of times they just need help with their relationship with the birth dad," Chisholm said. "They need help navigating the parenting plan system. It's overwhelming, and it's scary for them."
Chisholm herself was a single mother for 20 years. She was helped by a ministry in Woodinville. She began volunteering there. The mission became her life's work.
"My heart, my life was just changed dramatically because I had the support and the network of people helping me," she said.
Program Coordinator Crystal Voorheis has spent most of the past decade working with single, pregnant women through church programs, she said. The young women often want to obtain more education and a good job, but they need help taking the right steps.
"I've always had a passion to work with hurting women," Voorheis said.
All faiths are welcome at Life House. The ministry staff aims to provide care and support that is tender, loving and practical, Chisholm said.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; email@example.com.
How to help
Life House Ministries is a new nonprofit serving pregnant women and single mothers.
The ministry is at 3710 168th St. NE, B-103, Arlington, 360-548-3177, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.lifehousewa.org, www.facebook.com/Lifehouseministrieswa.
Volunteers are needed.
Donation items accepted include diapers, baby wipes, baby blankets and clothing, playpens, car seats, maternity clothing, breast-feeding supplies, nursing bras, reliable cars, computers and new-mom gift baskets.
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