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Michiana organization helps expectant mothers

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- One Michiana organization is celebrating a milestone.

For 25 years, Hannah’s House in Mishawaka has helped hundreds of young, expecting mothers at risk of homelessness. The nonprofit organization says its helped hundreds of women deliver health babies and birthed stability and purpose into their lives.

Hannah’s House opened its doors in 1993. Bethel College, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Saint Joseph Community Hospital, and Women’s Care Center formed the organization after seeing a number of pregnant teens at risk for homelessness.

“Our community would look so different if we didn’t have Hannah’s House because most of the women that are coming, they’re coming from a place of homelessness,” said Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator Shawn Mazelin. “We would have these women that are single on the street with these children and we don’t have that. When you drive down downtown South Bend, you don’t see streets filled with women and children because we have Hannah’s House and agencies like Hannah’s House”

Since then, it has become a place that fosters support and program services for expecting moms. Former residents say the organization helped them improve their physical, spiritual, emotional, and professional lives.

“When the community comes around them, it changes everything because they know that they have value,” said Mazelin. “Think if you didn’t have people in your life that encouraged you or helped you or trained you, where would you be?”  

South Bend mother of two LaVoughn Machowiak is a Hannah’s House alumnae. She says her life would be a lot different without the help she got from the organization.

Machowiak went to Hannah’s house in October 2008 when she was three months pregnant with her oldest daughter. She and her significant other needed time to work through some issues and figure out what was best for their future. She describes herself as lost before Hannah’s house.

However, as Machowiak went through the program, she says she grew closer to God, found her self-worth, and worked on her education.

“Hannah’s House saw that no matter what my situation was, that I needed help and that I needed it to be instilled in me before it would go in me,” said Machowiak. “It had to come from somewhere and I couldn’t  give it to myself. It was something that had to be taught.”

Machowiak is now happily married and works as a sous chef at a women’s shelter in South Bend. She comes back to Hannah’s House a few times a month to volunteer and attend alumni events.

“The things that Hannah’s House taught me about loving myself first and putting myself first and that I have worth and that I am very important to my family, I don’t think those things would have necessarily been instilled in me the way that they were,” said Machowiak.

Saturday, Hannah’s House is hosting its annual Holiday Happenings event. Money raised during this event will help the organization continue its work. Those interested in attending can click here.


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