Mother/Child Residential Program
It happens all too frequently—a woman is abandoned by her partner, left to cope alone with raising the children, struggling just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Sadly, many of these mothers have no means of support, little education and no knowledge of where to turn for help.
Sally Hanna-Schaefer, founder of Mother/Child Residential Program, a not-for-profit charitable corporation that provides shelter and services to homeless women and children in the southern New Jersey area, knows all about how it feels to be in this situation. In the early seventies she was left with three small children, the youngest only three months. Yet this woman, who, over the past twenty-five years, has helped scores of families and who likes to joke that she’s helping to "change the world, one baby at a time," not only survived, but also became stronger, more resourceful and, ultimately, a treasure to her community.
In the twenty-five years since Mother/Child’s modest beginning, the enterprise has grown, so that now twenty-eight families can be helped at one time, in several buildings. The women receive counseling and parenting courses, are taught health and nutrition, shopping and meal preparation, job search and computer skills and how to apply for housing vouchers.
In 2005 Sally merged her agency with the Center for Family Services to ensure the continuance of Mother/Child and some of its special services.
Sally readily acknowledges the help she has received from her own and other churches in her area, as well as from many other organizations and individuals, including her own children, two of whom now work with her full-time. But her biggest support is her faith. She believes that God enables people in the humblest circumstances to do great works. "You trust Him, and He empowers you—and sure enough, you find that you can do it!"