Malta House: “Hope For Life”
Malta House, Inc., started 20 years ago when a young father learned that there was no safe place to live in Fairfield County for women who were pregnant and homeless. He felt “struck by lightning” with an idea and mission to open a home for these young mothers. After 3 years of planning, they opened their doors in December 1998 at 5 Prowitt Street, Norwalk, CT.
Now, after nearly 21 years, Malta House is planning to move to a new home and start their next chapter. Their new home will allow them to serve fifty percent more mothers and babies. The new home will provide on-site support for moms such as parenting classes, career services, and healthcare. There will also be a chapel, classroom space, a full kitchen, a nursery with both an infant and toddler area, and more. Executive Director Carey Dougherty speaks passionately about the work she and her staff do. “The moms who come to us are pregnant, and we also invite mothers who may already have a child under the age of one. Our mothers typically stay with us for up to 18 months.
While they are with us, they must either be in school or working, and we offer a lot of support to our mothers working on their education and career goals to further their opportunities, and provide free childcare, which is a critical component to their career and educational plans,” says Carey. Apart from Malta House’s “Residential Program”, their 24/7 transitional living program, they also offer a post-residential program called the “Partnering Success Program”. The transition back into day-to-day life can be quite difficult, so Malta House continues to support those mothers after they leave Malta House, especially within that first year. The final program is their Outreach Program”. Carey says, “Mothers in need can call in twice a month and place their order for basic necessities, such as diapers, wipes, formula or food.
In addition to our partnership with The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, we are blessed by the support of many within our community, and are grateful for the opportunity to give our excess to support over 1,000 low-income families per year .” Carey says, “Malta House serves as a haven for the mothers and babies who stay with us, and as a hub for families in need to connect to vital resources in our community. Once part of our family, always part of our family.”