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New nonprofit Sarah’s House seeks partnership opportunities

Sarah’s House board members Sara Steffan (left) and Britney Cowan in the living room of their organization’s 3,544-square-foot transitional housing facility in Burnet for mothers in need. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

A new Burnet nonprofit that aims to transform the lives of women and their children is seeking partnerships to offer additional resources to its clients.

Sarah’s House plans to provide mothers in need housing and mentorship programs to guide them to a life of stability, independence, and faith.

“We want to be a support system for single moms who don’t have the support system that they need to get on their feet,” said board member Sara Steffan. “We want to show them the love of Jesus while we’re doing it. Our goal is to change lives and break generational cycles.”

The organization will work out of a home on the campus of Hill Country Fellowship, 200 Houston Clinton Drive in Burnet.

“We used it for bible studies and different things over the years, but we didn’t use it a lot,” said board member Stennis Shotts, who is a member of the Country Fellowship.

The church completed all renovations before turning over sole ownership of the home to Sarah’s House in May.

“It sits on their property, but we are a separate 501(c)3 that’s doing this for the entire community,” board member Britney Cowan said.

The first two families will take up residence in June.

“The plan is to eventually have five moms and five babies,” Steffan said.

Sarah’s House board members were adamant that the program would offer a “hand-up” instead of a “handout.”

“It’s all about them building skills,” Shotts said. “We want to come alongside them and point them north as opposed to south.”

A case worker will reside at the home full time to ensure clients follow their “personal development plans.”

“Basically, the personal development plan will be all about your goals,” Steffan said. “We’ll figure out what your goal is, how we can help you achieve that goal, and what the timeframe is.”

Mentorship programs will also be offered to mothers at Sarah’s House.

“We want them to learn to stand on their feet, support themselves, and support their baby,” Cowan said. 

All mothers at the home will be required to follow their personal development plans, purchase and cook meals for themselves and their children, and complete household chores.

Clients will be given a fully furnished bedroom to share with their child. The Pregnancy and Life Center will provide diapers and wipes for the babies. Hill Country Fellowship Christian Academy will offer free childcare for all children living in the home.

“We want to equip these women to be fully ready for when they walk out of this door with their kids,” Steffan said.

There is no set time limit for when Sarah’s House clients are expected to leave the program.

“We’re not looking at this as a short-term situation,” Cowan said. “It’s not an emergency shelter. It’s not a one-month (stay) while you find something else. This is all about achieving long-term goals.”

Organizers encourage prospective patrons to visit the nonprofit’s website to donate or offer additional support.

“We’re still looking for financial partners for monthly recurring donations to help us with maintaining Sarah’s House,” Steffan said. 

nathan@thepicayune.com

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