Thursday, October 30, 2014

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New Dorm Assists Single Mothers at College of St. Mary

The College of St. Mary in Omaha, Neb., recently constructed a $10 million dormitory for single mothers and their children, according to Omaha.com.

The suite-style dorm named Madonna Hall features a “shared kitchenette, TV and study spaces like most dorms, but…also has foam floors, a little indoor jungle gym and tons of toys.”

Single mothers living in Madonna Hall reportedly pay the same housing and tuition rates as other students, but are provided with a free meal plan for their children and babysitting services.  The mothers are required to take a “success class” that includes topics like time management and parenting.

The new residence hall reflects the College’s “commitment to improve the experience and graduation rates for single moms,” according to Omaha.com.  One mother shared her experience of the strong community in Madonna Hall, relating how friends in the dorm took care of her two children when she was sick. 

A similar initiative to that at the College of St. Mary is found at Newman Guide-recommended Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. 

The MiraVia (formerly known as the Room at the Inn) residential facility was built in 2011 on Belmont Abbey’s campus, and provides free room and board to pregnant mothers and their children.  The mothers can enroll in courses at any local college or university, and are provided with material assistance, life skills classes, tutoring and more.

In 2011, Belmont Abbey College President Bill Thierfelder reportedly described bringing the unwed mothers’ home to his College campus as a “bold move” and “a natural extension of pro-life philosophy.” 

"It's putting your money where your mouth is," Thierfelder reportedly told the Charlotte Observer. "You're not just talking philosophy anymore. This is something real."

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