Inspiring Hope: Q&A with Stasia Roth, Executive Director of A Mother’s Hope

Q: For those who don’t know much about your organization, please tell us about the work you do in the community.

A: We are the only maternity home in Allen County and the surrounding counties. We’re the only shelter that exclusively serves pregnant, homeless women. We can house up to eight women at one time and their babies. They come when they are pregnant, they stay through the birth of the baby and then they’re able to remain in the program through baby’s first birthday.

Q: How does the work you do inspire hope in those you serve? How does it inspire hope in you and your staff?

A: I like the question about hope because hope is so important to who we are that we put it in our name. If you don’t have hope, there’s no reason to invest your time into anything. We are instilling hope into everything we do. The ultimate goal is that through the services and programming, the mothers will be able to find permanent housing and achieve self-sufficiency. But it’s not just about that. While they’re here we have the huge opportunity to help our mothers see that they are worth the effort. Helping them see that they are capable of becoming self-sufficient, they are worth the effort, and so are their children is all part of our work.

Q: How does your faith influence your work?

A: Mother’s Hope was never my idea. It was always God’s idea for Fort Wayne and I’ve always believed that He wanted A Mother’s Hope here because of the deep love that He has for each woman that He knew would be here with her child. And I’ve seen that and felt that. Anything and everything that we do has to run through His purpose for each woman.

Q: Can you provide us an example of a time when you walked alongside a client on their journey and were inspired by them, a co-worker, or volunteer?

A: We are all inspired by the residents every day. We hear stories of what our residents have been through or even how they got to A Mother’s Hope. We’ve heard some really awful things. When residents allow that pain and that hurt to bubble up to the surface, and seeing them wrestle with that and being willing to enter into that process of healing, that in and of itself is inspiring.

Q: How do you care for the whole person (mind, body and spirit) at your organization?

A: We have a great opportunity to educate here. There are so many things to learn. Our residents learn about parenting, financial literacy, and we also educate about healthy relationships. Most of us struggle with relationships so that is important for all of us and is really important to the overall health of the mind, body and spirit. One small example of how we care for the entire person is how our staff always ask if residents have some special food they really appreciate, something that brings them comfort and then we add that to the grocery list. I love that little touch, because it’s really saying, “I see you, I’m glad you’re here,” but in a very practical way.

Q: How do you ensure that each client receives high-quality services in a respectful and dignified manner?

A: The dignity of each person is one of the most important building blocks of A Mother’s Hope. We have a rule in place in our programming that if there is any disrespect to a staff member or another resident then it results in a warning, which is pretty high on our system of consequences. That’s because respect is so important; when you’re respecting others, you’re also respecting yourself. The culture we’ve created here is so important to ensuring that everyone, staff and residents, know that their dignity is respected.

Q: Where can people learn more about your organization?

A:  On the website are also links to several You Tube videos where you can see our facility and meet some of the staff and residents. It was hard to take volunteers during the pandemic, but we are beginning to take small groups of volunteers again. If anyone would like to volunteer, people should visit the website and click on the Get Involved link.We also have many opportunities to support us financially and you can find those on our website. Our gala is scheduled for November 4, 2021.