Need for a maternity home in Hardin County goes back to a client who came to Clarity Solutions pro-life pregnancy center seeking an abortion. The mom lived in her car with 2-year-old twins, who only had diapers. She had a long history of trafficking before fleeing from her handler.
Laura Dickinson, executive director at Clarity, talked with her about her pregnancy, outfitted the twins with clothing and diapers and arranged shelter at LifeHouse Maternity Home in Louisville.
This mom was not the only one.
Talking with women seeking abortions, Dickinson often heard housing as a factor in life-and-death decisions about continuing a pregnancy.
“Some of our clients couch surf, live with parents in low-income housing, have even been kicked out of housing because of their pregnancy,” Dickinson said. “We realized housing can be a factor in considering abortion as women saw not having a safe home as insurmountable.”
Housing options are limited in Hardin County. Pregnant women often are at a disadvantage in renting an apartment or home. Emergency housing is available only for those dealing with domestic violence.
The closest option to Clarity is LifeHouse in Louisville, though it is often full to capacity.
Supporters and staff at Clarity began praying for an emergency shelter for pregnant moms. Issues became even more urgent through the uptick of clients during the pandemic.
In 2020, Dickinson saw a vacant home near the center that would provide the perfect place for moms. The board of directors moved quickly to purchase the property and begin renovations to make room for four residents in addition to live-in staff.
Teams of volunteers from Southeast Christian Church’s Elizabethtown Campus helped with paint, flooring, even a leaky roof.
“They have been so generous with us,” Dickinson said. “It’s meant a lot as we took on this big project.”
The maternity home will open this year. It is named The Haven in honor of that abortion-minded mom who came to Clarity with her twins.
“She named her baby Haven. She was alive because Clarity intervened early. That baby lived in large part because mama had a place to stay. Haven became the perfect name for the maternity home,” Dickinson said.
Currently, Clarity is searching for the right couple to serve as house managers.