Behind each door to a home is a story, but the door to this suburban home offers a tale that few could believe. Housing three young mothers and seven children, this home is not only a shelter, but also the beginning of a new life for each of them.

Behind each door to a home is a story, but the door to this suburban home offers a tale that few could believe. Housing three young mothers and seven children, this home is not only a shelter, but also the beginning of a new life for each of them.

St. Raymond’s Society was founded by Mike Hentges and Rolla native Steve Smith. Both saw a need in the world for assistance to expectant mothers, or mothers who need the help. “St. Raymond’s house is a transitional home,” said Jane Dalton, program director for the home here in Rolla.  “It’s really not your typical maternity home, in that maternity homes people live there, have their babies and that’s kind of all that happens.” It’s the support and learning after the birth, that’s needed and St. Raymonds is focused on seeing the mother grow as a care giver while also becoming successful in life skills.

Looking for corporate sponsors for the Pregnancy Resource Center , couple Joseph and Jane Dalton found the connections with the original founders of the St. Raymond’s house, Mike Hentges and Steve Smith. Jane reminisces on how she came in to her position at the St. Raymond’s house, saying “Joe (told) Steve Smith ‘Don’t even think about hiring my wife.’ And I was like absolutely not! I didn’t know yet that God wanted me to.” At the time they were opening Pregnancy Resource Centers all around the country, as well as home-teaching their children. “It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realized God really wanted me to do that,” she said.

 The home, having only opened its doors in November of last year, has already served multiple mothers in its time here. Jane Dalton explained that while the mothers are sheltered here, they work on a curriculum that will prepare them for an independent future. “In this house when people live here they work a curriculum called ‘My Ridiculously Amazing Life Plan’,” Jane explained. “This curriculum helps them to learn how to set goals, and create action plans. It moves their lives forward. When people move in here they are homeless, and they are either pregnant or have small children. By the time they move out, they are ready to be on their own; self-sufficient. We ask them [to stay] for at least a year, but they can live here longer.”

Jane Dalton was the initiator of this curriculum, something she spent years working and researching as the client service coordinator for the Rolla Pregnancy Resource Center. Each week, an inspirational meeting is held for the girls this program is centered around, something that is not only fun and meaningful, but also inspirational. These weekly programs are run by certified life coaches Pam Sluder and Sandi Smith, individuals who work closely with the new and expecting mothers to make sure their goals and progression are met.

In June ,the walls of the St. Raymond’s home shook with the newest arrivals; ones that had been much anticipated in the months prior. A mother in the home was expecting triplets, a discovery that can frighten any new mother. Janey was already the mother to a four year old daughter, and felt lost for options with that to do with her pregnancy. Eventually, through the Pregnancy Resource Center Jane and Joseph Dalton gave Janey a solution with the St. Raymond’s house. Janey and her four children now live within the home, with between 35 to 40 volunteers coming daily to help care for the triplets.

“Part of it that I think most people don’t know is that we don’t just work within this house,” Jane Dalton explained. “We do all these same things with people in the community who don’t need housing.” Jane’s program is now used at the other St. Raymond’s locations in Jefferson City and Columbia.

The home is run entirely by community funds and donations. These gifts can be made through the volunteering of time, funds or even household supplies for the mothers and babies. For more information on St. Raymond’s Society and ways to help their cause visit SRSHelp.Org.