By Ainsley Chapman, Director of Community Outreach
“I’m so excited about our partnership with In My Shoes, because that was me! I was the scared, homeless, pregnant girl who couldn’t stop drinking and had no resources and nowhere to go. I wish I had known about In My Shoes back then but I’m so grateful they exist today. I know there are so many women who desperately need the help and services they offer. I’m just blown away by the work they do!”
– Kady Tucker, Volunteer Coordinator at The Magdalen House
Earlier this year, I noticed that a woman in the Maggie’s community was frequently posting on her Facebook about an organization in the area for new moms called In My Shoes. She mentioned that they needed some volunteers in recovery, and being a new mom myself, I was intrigued. I immediately reached out to ask about volunteer opportunities for myself, but as I learned more about the women that this organization serves, I realized that it made a beautiful fit as a Community Outreach Partner for The Magdalen House.
Touring their Housing Center, it was warm and welcoming, homey – it felt like Maggie’s. I immediately fell in love with this organization and their mission to provide a safe, welcoming community for pregnant women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
Helping New and Expecting Mothers, As a Community
With estimates that 20% of pregnant women drink alcohol while pregnant and the prevalence of alcoholism affecting 35-40% of homeless individuals, it is no surprise that several women in In My Shoes’ program have or are currently struggling with alcoholism.
In My Shoes provides much needed housing and social services for new and expecting mothers facing homelessness – including transitional housing, individual and group therapy, food and clothing assistance, parenting and life skills curriculum and presentations, community involvement, goal setting and reward programs, and work and school support. However, recovery services aren’t mission-specific for them, just as housing and social services for alcoholic women who are pregnant aren’t mission-specific for The Magdalen House.
This is the beauty and purpose of partnerships through our Community Outreach Program! Because each organization stays mission-specific but comes together in a partnership, we are able to better serve our communities. Being a woman new in recovery, plus becoming a new mother, is a vulnerable place to be so it’s important to have a strong community of women who understand and are able to provide support. With In My Shoes focusing on pregnant women who are at risk of homelessness, and The Magdalen House focusing on alcoholic women, together we can help provide all-encompassing services so our clients can have life-changing experiences in all aspects of their lives.
About In My Shoes
In My Shoes is the only community living program in Dallas that provides support specifically towards pregnant, homeless women – while offering life, parenting, and job skills. All women who are struggling with homelessness, faced with the decision of bringing a child into this world, and are in need of a strong support system from peers and professional counselors are welcome. The program at In My Shoes was created by those who have walked a mile in the shoes of the less fortunate or have had close personal relationships with those who have. Their staff simply wants to give to the community while explicitly supporting life and families in need.
In My Shoes accomplishes this by offering their guests the opportunity to learn and put into habit valuable life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for oneself, while also ensuring that every expectant or new mother has the necessary parenting skills and resources available to care for her child. Moms and their babies are able to stay in an In My Shoes home while they learn necessary skills and receive job training to assist with finding employment.