A brighter future is taking shape within the Coachella Valley for women in crisis, as construction of new the Anne Silverstein Campus for Mama’s House is moving toward an end of the year completion.

This new Mama’s House campus will quadruple the number of mothers with babies and/or small children this nonprofit can serve, even as Mama’s House celebrates 10 successful years of providing a safe, supportive, loving and nurturing residential environment for women in crisis.

Whether pregnant or with an infant or small children, the women who come to Mama’s House have no place to go—and no means of support. With an ever-growing homeless population in the Coachella Valley and beyond, Mama’s House is answering the call and making a critical difference. As the only residential home and the only program of its kind in Southern California and beyond, Mama’s House is providing hope to these vulnerable women, thus impacting families, communities and generations to come.

At Mama’s House, the residents’ physical, emotional, educational, vocational and spiritual needs are addressed. These women are learning the necessary skills for competent living, whether they choose parenting or allow a loving family to adopt. Upon exiting the Mama’s House one-of-a-kind comprehensive program, these residents will have gone through a life-changing experience, with their lives having been forever changed and transformed.

“Our residents are becoming the individuals they were created to be,” said Jan Lupia, founder and executive director of Mama’s House. “Since opening our first residential home 10 years ago, we have been able to provide the necessary services, programs and tools for these women to achieve many accomplishments for themselves and the children they are raising.”

When the vision was cast in 2020 to accommodate additional residents, Mama’s House was able to purchase a second residential property debt-free. The new Anne Silverstein Campus for Mama’s House will encompass a total of five casitas, in addition to a 4,200-square-foot home, providing a spacious 38-bed campus. Including the first Mama’s House home with 10 beds, this campus when completed will be a collection of beautiful homes to serve 48 women and their children.

Mama’s House has partnered with ORR Builders and Holt Architecture on this expansion, remodel and construction of the Anne Silverstein Campus for Mama’s House.

The footprint of this residential property includes three buildings on one acre of land. The 2,400-square-foot main residence has been expanded by 1,800 square feet, with all buildings being remodeled to make the best use of the space. A master suite is being reconfigured into a four-bed dormitory, and the expansion will add a multipurpose room, laundry, pantry, offices and additional bathroom space, as well as parking. Each casita will include three bedrooms, kitchens, living and dining areas, and ample storage space.

The new campus will include five three-bedroom casitas.

“ORR Builders is very pleased and proud to be the General Contractor on the Mama’s House expansion project,” said Brian Orr, president/CEO. “My wife, Julie, has been a volunteer at Mama’s House for many years, and we both strongly believe in the organization’s mission. There is such a great need in our community and beyond for the Mama’s House program. It is definitely changing lives for the better.”

The expansion project is currently moving along nicely, with ORR Builders currently implementing the drywall stage, with all ceiling heights finished and AC condensers installed. ORR will soon start the topping out phase, encompassing the electrical, plumbing, low-voltage wiring, air conditioning and duct work. Shortly after that phase, ORR will complete the wrapping process, which is getting ready for the plaster finish.

“I am delighted to report that this project has been very smooth all the way through,” said Bruce Maize, project executive at ORR Builders.

Maize credits the rapid progress to a smooth permit process and the longstanding and excellent working relationships with ORR’s trade sub-contractors. “There is a trade sub-contractor loyalty here that has been built up over many years. What Jan Lupia is doing just gives me goosebumps. Observing Jan’s enthusiasm for this project, and knowing what the upside is at the end of the day for these women who are destitute with young children or a baby on the way, is amazing. I have lived in the Coachella Valley for 30 years, and I can tell you this little cul-de-sac property has tremendous potential, and everything relating to this project just fell into place so beautifully!”

As Brian Orr comments, “There is such a definite need in our community and beyond for the Mama’s House program, because this nonprofit is definitely changing lives for the better. The significant part of this is what Jan Lupia has done with the ministry of Mama’s House, which is a real plus.”

About Mama’s House Ministries

Mama’s House has been open to residents since July 2013, with more than 350 women and babies receiving shelter and tremendous support. The organization accepts those who have made the decision to carry their baby to full-term, whether hoping to parent the child or allow a loving family to adopt. Residents are encouraged to stay until they complete the program, equipping residents with the necessary life skills for competent living.

After evaluation, a mutually agreed-upon set of goals are established through the Mama’s House Pathway to Success Program, which creates an individual plan for each resident, with education being an important component. Residents must complete high school first, then they have many options, including nursing school or college.

Having come from a place of brokenness, dysfunctional homes, addiction issues, homelessness, and/or abusive relationships, each resident has their own story. Often times, they do not have a positive example of what a loving partner, home life or parent may look like in their own lives. The emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse these residents have endured has caused great trauma. This makes it extremely difficult to break the cycle on their own. Additionally, many residents lack a high school education, vocational training, along with the fundamental social and life skills to survive and be successful.

“The seeds we plant can change the very foundation of how our residents live, and how they will raise their children, by making better decisions and learning the tools imperative for self-sufficiency,” Lupia said. “At Mama’s House we love, value, mentor and educate residents to gain healthy coping mechanisms and life skills that directly affect their children’s lives and can completely redirect the trajectory of their own lives. Residents are encouraged to stay in our aftercare program, in order to maintain relationships, participate in programs and therapy, and have accountability to assist them with their continued success, as they begin to live independently after they complete our successful program.”

For additional information on Mama’s House, call Jan Lupia at 844-232-8622, or email her at janlupia@themamashouse.org. Mama’s House Ministries is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, tax ID# 45-4384613.

This piece was submitted on behalf of Mama’s House by Madeline Zuckerman.

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