Displaying items by tag: maternity homes

Creating Lasting Change, Scientifically

by Valerie Harkins, Director of the Maternity Housing Coalition of Heartbeat Internationalpexels thiago s fotografias 5367586

Maternity homes serve as powerful environments not only for the physical well-being of pregnant women but also for the intricate development of their unborn children's brains. Neuroplasticity, the brain's capability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections, provides a fascinating lens through which to view the transformative potential of maternity homes. These homes offer residents a unique opportunity to catalyze neurodevelopment in both themselves and their children in utero through fostering new behaviors and skills.

In the realm of neuroscience, where the brain's adaptability is a cornerstone principle, maternity homes stand as beacons of hope and change. The residents, often facing challenging circumstances, are given a supportive and nurturing environment to cultivate new coping mechanisms, communication styles, and interpersonal skills. The significance of this goes beyond mere behavior change; it delves deep into the realm of brain restructuring. As residents practice these new behaviors consistently within the safe confines of the maternity home, they are actively carving out new neural pathways in their brains.

These newly formed neural connections are not transient but rather have the potential to become permanent fixtures in their cognitive architecture. By repeatedly engaging in positive behaviors, residents solidify these pathways, laying the foundation for lasting change. This process is particularly vital during pregnancy, as research suggests that a mother's emotional state can influence the development of her child's brain even before birth. Therefore, the benefits of cultivating a positive mental and emotional environment within maternity homes extend not only to the residents themselves but also to the neurological well-being of their unborn children.

The vision for residents of maternity homes should not be confined to their current circumstances but should encompass a future brimming with possibilities.

Envisioning these women as healthy, strong, sober, safe, and thriving individuals is not just wishful thinking but a scientifically grounded expectation.

The power of neuroplasticity equips individuals with the capacity to fundamentally alter their brain's structure and function, leading to profound and enduring transformations in behavior and cognition.

For maternity home workers who may at times feel disheartened or overwhelmed by the challenges their residents face, understanding the neuroscientific underpinnings of their work can provide a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Every interaction, every intervention, and every moment of support offered within the walls of a maternity home has the potential to spark a cascade of neurobiological changes in the lives of its inhabitants.

May we all take heart, that maternity homes play a pivotal role not just in providing shelter and support but in fostering neurodevelopment and promoting true lasting change. By recognizing the profound impact of neuroplasticity on behavior and cognition, we can appreciate the immense potential inherent in every resident who walks through the doors of a maternity home. Let us view these individuals not through the lens of their past struggles but through the lens of limitless possibilities for growth, resilience, and transformation.

Maternity Housing Coalition Partnership

by Valerie Harkins, Director of Maternity Housing CoalitionMaternity Housing Coalition & Option Line

The Maternity Housing Coalition (MHC) is excited to announce three features available to Heartbeat International affiliates.

1. Announcing our new housing locator tool!

a. This tool is free to all affiliates.
b. An online application is built into the tool. With the application feature, affiliated homes receive an email with a snapshot of the potential client's information including her name, gestation, current location, and if she currently has a safe place to stay.
c. Affiliate homes are matched with a woman based on the intake information entered. When you reach out to connect with this young woman, you are already prepared with the information you need to have a successful and fruitful conversation.

2. Option Line is partnered with MHC!

a. Option Line is available 24/7, including holidays, to assist women applying for maternity housing.

3. Maternity Homes can Forward Calls to Option Line!

a. Maternity home affiliates can forward calls to Option Line after hours as a complementary benefit of affiliation. When your office is closed, even during meetings or events, Option Line is here to assist women attempting to contact your maternity home.
b. Option Line is bilingual! This gives you peace of mind knowing that even Spanish-speaking callers are being served.
c. Click here to learn how to take advantage of this benefit.

Next Step: Click here to register to be added to the housing locator tool today! We aim to create a robust directory of maternity homes where you can list your services so women can be connected and served even faster. With our partnership with Option Line, we will reach even more!


For questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Golden Ticket to Financial Resilience

Presented by Valerie Harkins, Housing SpecialistMaternity Housing

The pandemic showed us just how delicate our fundraising strategies are to unforeseen events.  Many nonprofits found themselves financially vulnerable in 2020 without the ability to host their annual fundraising events or apply for a specific grant upon which they had become reliant. It’s been three years since then, and the trends have continued to speak a sobering message.

Fundraising trends are on the move in 2023. With the turbulence of the economy, the unpredictability of the environment, the shift in the generation of the primary donor base, and adjustments to the new post-pandemic norms, homes are finding that—now more than ever— they have a critical need for diversified revenue streams. Overall, we have seen a national increase in donations; however, this has been matched with an even greater decrease in purchasing power, frequently resulting in a realistic net loss for organizations. As is common during times of economic hardship, the number of individual donors on average has decreased with an increased amount per monetary contribution made. This means we have fewer people making contributions but larger individual contributions, creating an elusive financial projection that appears strong at the bottom line but is built upon what is likely akin to a Jenga tower.

Financial resilience is the golden ticket to stability in this season. This necessitates fundraising strategies built upon multiple revenue streams. A personal recommendation is to maintain an average of five sources of income. This provides you with a broad donor base and the gift of time when catastrophe strikes. Examples include minor events, major events, monthly donors, and grants. To learn more, check out our webinar Diversifying Your Home’s Revenue Streams where we take a deep dive into this topic. And there is no time like the present to strengthen your funding strategy by getting in on the Development Tack at Pregnancy Help Institute. There’s still time!

 PHI 2022 Review by Maternity Home