A recent remodel at Haven of Hope Maternity Home came as the pregnancy help center shifted its focus to a younger clientele.

A recent remodel at Haven of Hope Maternity Home came as the pregnancy help center shifted its focus to a younger clientele.

Located on Elks Lane in Laurie, Haven of Hope has long provided housing and services to pregnant mothers in need. In April, the maternity home was licensed by the state to house pregnant girls, ages 11 to 21.

The license allows them to help younger women than before.

According to Pregnancy Help Center Executive Director Patricia Dascher, one of the reasons for the change was the calls they were receiving from parents of pregnant teenagers. The parents from rural areas were seeking to have their daughters placed in a maternity home where they could get education and training to better care for their child, but still live in more rural, small town environment, she said.

Haven of Hope is now the only maternity home in the area that takes in teens.

In preparation for taking in younger residents, the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the ladies at St. Pat's, the Osage Community Elks and churches throughout the community have helped remodel the building.

The Knights of Columbus put new floors in two of the bedrooms and constructed an office area inside so that records can be kept more confidential. The ladies at St. Pat's redecorated all the bedrooms, including new window coverings donated by Budget Blinds in Laurie.

The Knights of Columbus also donated money to assist in getting new training materials for the residents and those in our community who are interested. The educational materials teach life skills, nutrition, budgeting, prenatal care, birthing, nursing, parenting and more. The new materials also include training for new fathers in caring for infants and young children.

Ladies in the community have also made and donated blankets, hats and sweaters for babies.

The Haven of Hope Maternity Home has five bedrooms and can house a house mother and eight residents. There are two fully equipped kitchens and four bathrooms in the home. There is a baby boutique where residents and those in the community may receive baby items, diapers, formula, furniture and maternity clothes.

Rita Garcia is the facility manager and has the facility open to the community from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday for classes, baby items, free pregnancy tests and consultation. The maternity home is part of the Pregnancy Help Centers serving the Lake of the Ozarks at 747 Business Route 5 in Camdenton.

The Pregnancy Help Center in Camdenton offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds along with classes. Last year the Pregnancy Help Centers helped more than 900 moms, babies, dads and grandparents.

Everyone can be a part of helping young moms and babies, said Dascher, and the Pregnancy Help Center and Haven of Hope are in need of volunteers. The Haven of Hope Maternity Home is in need of House Mothers who would enjoy working with young pregnant girls and teens. Both centers are in need of diapers, baby wipes and Pac-N-Plays.

The Pregnancy Help Centers will be having a bass tournament fundraiser on May 11. Contact Matt Cody for information at 573-808-0710.

A baby bottle campaign begins on Mother's Day, May 12, and ends on Father's Day, June 16. Baby bottles will be distributed to the churches and passed out to the congregation to put their lose change in. Contact Erma at 573-346-3337 or Rita at 573-374-1144 to have baby bottles delivered to your church.

There will also be a banquet at Camdenton High School on June 22 with a former resident, inspirational speakers and Diane Franklin and Mike Casella singing.

For more information on Pregnancy Help Centers and Haven of Hope, call Patricia Dasher at 573-434-6456 or email pdascher@pregnancyhelpcenters.org, or visit pregnancyhelpcenters.org.