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New Homeless Shelter Will Help Pregnant Teens

June 23, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

A new shelter for pregnant homeless girls--the only one of its kind in Orange County--soon will be accepting and caring for residents.

Mary's Shelter Main House, a 4,800-square-foot home, is in an unincorporated area between Santa Ana and Tustin, on the lot where another home, Mary's Shelter, houses 10 girls and their infants. The new home, with an estimated value of $600,000, was built by subcontractors who donated their work. Private donors, churches, foundations and grants paid for the materials.

Furniture also is being donated, and in the next two weeks, girls will begin moving in. To live there, girls must be pregnant, ages 12 to 17, and have at least one parent living in the state.

Elizabeth S. Mojica, executive director of Mary's Shelter, a nonprofit corporation, said the home's goal is to give the girls a safe place to live while they learn parenting skills, receive job training and continue their general education.

"Most of these girls come from broken homes, and our No. 1 goal is family reunification," Mojica said.

Once their babies are delivered, the new mothers may continue living at the home until their infants turn 18 months and "they are transitioned back into the community," Mojica said.

Girls interested in being admitted to the home are asked to call (714) 730-0930.

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