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June 20: Room At The Inn Breaks Ground On The First College-Based Maternity And After-Care Residential Facility In The Nation

June 15th, 2011

Land donated by the Benedictine Monks of Belmont Abbey

Room At The Inn, a safe haven and source of hope for pregnant mothers and their children since 1994, will break ground on January 20th on the first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility of its kind in the nation.

The facility will be built on four acres of land donated by the Benedictine Monks of Belmont Abbey and located adjacent to Belmont Abbey monastery and the campus of Belmont Abbey College. Confirmed attendees for the groundbreaking ceremony include Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council; Mr. David Bereit, National Campaign Director for 40 Days for Life; Ms. Serrin Foster, President of Feminists for Life; the Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte; and the Right Reverend Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., Abbot of Belmont Abbey and Chancellor of Belmont Abbey College.CLICK HERE to see the invitation.)

The 10,000-square-foot home will provide single pregnant college women the option of continuing their educations while having their babies in a caring and supportive environment before, during and after their pregnancies.  The program will be free of charge for up to two years. Participants don’t have to be Catholic or Christian or students at Belmont Abbey College to be accepted.  *It is the first college-based facility in the nation to provide this extensive array of services. (Please CLICK HERE to donate.)

“Many young women in college facing unexpected pregnancies believe they have to give up everything to keep their babies – but they don’t,” said Room At The Inn Executive Director Jeannie Wray. “Room At The Inn can give these young women the opportunity to continue their educations, have their babies, make a positive impact on society and fulfill their hopes and dreams.”

The new facility will have two residential wings – one for maternity and one for after-care – that will be home to 15 mothers, 15 infants and 8 toddlers for up to two years. Each mother will have a private bedroom and bathroom and share the kitchen, dining room and laundry room with other residents. Administrative and counseling offices and quarters for residential managers also will be on site.

Expectant mothers interested in Room At The Inn must go through several months of counseling before being accepted into the free program, which Wray describes as “fairly stringent” and filled with classes and counseling to prepare young mothers with the skills they need to be successful in life.

Participants are required to be in school, adhere to a curfew, sign in and sign out, pass room inspections, submit goal sheets and take classes in life skills, parenting, cooking, meal planning, financial planning and non-denominational Bible study, among others.  In exchange, they receive free room and board and counseling, as well as everything they need for their babies from car seats and playpens to clothes and nursery furniture.

“Many of the young women we see are beaten down, hopeless, abandoned and have no earthly idea how they are going to put one foot in front of the other – they’re just looking for the light,” said Wray. “Room At The Inn can offer them help, hope and possibilities, so by the time they leave, they are prepared for their lives, more mature and eligible to come to our outreach program for as long as they like.”

For more information, contact Jeannie Wray at (704) 525-4673, ext. 11, or go to www.rati.org.

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