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A Letter From a Mary's Shelter Gulf Coast Resident

I found out I was pregnant three days after I became homeless. I'd left an abusive relationship with nothing but my daughter, my car, and the clothes we could fit into the trunk. My plan was to find a homeless shelter near my mother in Florida, get a job, and take back control of my life. But God had other plans, and as I sat in the pregnancy clinic watching my baby's heartbeat flicker on the screen, I was certain that I would never be able to get through this alone. I was leaving the pregnancy clinic that day when the counselor handed me the phone number to Mary's Shelter in Alabama. I wasn't optimistic at all. I'd already called a dozen other shelters and been told the same thing over and over: they were at capacity, but they would add me to their waiting list. But Mary's Shelter was different. They told me, "We have a room for you and your daughter. When can you get here?"

I've been at Mary's Shelter home for four months now. I have a job and a strong support system. Since the day I got here, I've never once felt like this was anything other than a home. I've made friends that feel like family. I'm no longer scared to have this child. I know now that I don't have to fight this fight alone.

About Good Counsel Mary's Shelter

  Situated on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mary's Shelter was founded to address the needs of homeless pregnant women who are experiencing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Our mothers come to us with no one to help them, no money, and no place to live. Before hearing of Mary's Shelter, many of them felt that their only option was to have an abortion. By providing them with a home during this difficult time in their life, we enable these women to say 'yes' to life for their unborn child.


  The women and children served by Mary's Shelter are given the opportunity to live in a clean, secure, loving, family environment staffed by caring Christian professionals. But Mary's Shelter aims to go beyond simply being a maternity home providing these homeless pregnant women with shelter and sustenance. While saving the babies' lives is of paramount importance, equally important is helping these vulnerable women to eventually achieve happy, healthy and productive lives.


  While residing at the shelter, our mothers participate in Spirituality classes (Bible study and devotional time), Prenatal and personal health classes, and parenting classes. Along with these specific classes the women also participate in several group type discussions which give them an understanding of better ways to relax, relieve stresses and a better understanding of nutritional value for themselves and their child/children. Here at Mary's Shelter we believe education plays a major role in their success upon leaving here, so we also provide Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED) tutoring, preparation and testing. It is also mandatory that they undergo counseling by qualified counselors. 

  In addition, the mothers are given the information they need to be able to make an informed decision regarding the future of their unborn child - whether to parent the child or consider adoption. Through family-style living, our moms learn how to resolve conflicts. They learn how to care for their children, for themselves and for their home. Each mother's program and progress are evaluated every three months.


  Following the birth of the baby, the mother and child may enter our Transitional Housing program, once the mother has found a job which will provide a living wage. Financial assistance and other support is provided for a period of up to six months, at which time the mother is hopefully in a position to assume complete responsibility for her family. After leaving Mary's Shelter the women will be monitored by our program manager in order to maintain a steady record of their progress and their child's. 

  Where there often existed a history for these women of barely surviving on welfare, Mary's Shelter works to see that pattern broken and helps them reach their maximum potential. Our maternity home is a sensible, pro-life,  abortion alternative.

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