Struggling single parents are being offered the opportunity to focus on higher education and improving their station in life, while receiving free housing, utilities, Internet, food, access to a closing closet and other benefits – the main requirement: Attend church three times a week.
Hope Haven provides the hope of a new life
Hope Haven is a duplex community in New Mexico built by faith-based organization New Mexico Christian Children’s Home that is associated with Churches of Christ. The group’s mission is to help struggling single parents gain higher education to allow them to have a better way of providing for their families. Single parents are allowed to live with their families in the residence for up to four years while they go to college or develop careers.
At the same time, the organization is bringing families to Christ.
“I’ve had many who have left with their degrees in nursing, education, accounting or whatever,” said Bill Marshall, program director. “I know that many of them make a whole lot more money than me. And that blesses me.”
“It relieves them [parents in the program] of financial pressure to the tune of $18,000 to $22,000 a year,” Marshall, a minister for 30 years, added.
Hope Haven was built on seven acres and expanded in the last three years from $6 million in donations. It now hosts 30 duplex residences. The organization, New Mexico Christian, has specialized in residential group care since 1954. The single-parent-program goes back to 1983.
Qualifications and requirements: Attend church three times per week
The program is open to single parents. So far, however, all the applicants have been female except for one male. The program is at capacity with a months-long waiting list. Currently, the program is housing 39 single mothers and their 73 children.
There are some rules: No drinking or smoking. No physical relationships. No guests of the opposite sex, except for relatives. And the foremost requirement: All family members must attend church services three times per week, which include Sunday morning and Wednesday night assemblies.
Given that the ministry accepts no government funding, there are no state or federal regulations that prevent the ministry from making such requirements.