Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pittsburgh Mother's Organizations 4-16-12

Positively Pittsburgh Live!
Pittsburgh Mother's Organizations

Cynthia Boswell, Board Director, Heaven's Rainbow, Inc.
Barb Smith, President of Board of Directors for HEARTH
Lori Szala, Executive Director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills

Barb Smith is the President of the Board of Directors and has been a volunteer for HEARTH for more than 20 years. She also volunteers for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), Pittsburgh Chapter and was a past president of the organization. She has been a stay at home mom for many years and a community volunteer. Barb is a past member of the Junior League of Pittsburgh, and has volunteered on many school committees including Parent Faculty Association.

HEARTH's Transitional Housing Program, Benedictine Place, serves homeless women with children from Allegheny County, including the City. It has been open since 1995 and has served over 200 families including over 560 individuals, providing over 4 million hours of supportive services. The program's focus is on developing economic self-sufficiency through education programs.

The average age of women that HEARTH serves is 24-45. Families have 1-4 children, ranging from birth to age 18. 50% of women are victims of domestic violence, 30-60% have mental health issues, 14 out of 15 families do not receive child support and are living in poverty, and 10-30% of women are recovering from substance abuse.

The Transitional Housing program has had unprecedented success. Of those women who have completed the program in the last 5 years: 75% secured full-time employment, 84% obtained permanent housing, 88% increased their education level, and 89% increased their income.

HEARTH lost its leased home of 17 years last June and had to move to temporary quarters and now needs a new Home to be able to continue the program. They are in the middle of a $1.5 million capital campaign for a new Home in Shaler Township, with more than 2/3 of the goal committed. The total project budget is $7.4 million. They need volunteers and donors to complete the project, with plans to close on the property in June and begin renovations thereafter.

HEARTH is unique because of the educational requirement, fully furnished apartments in one building, comprehensive program support, life skills training, community and volunteer involvement and accepting families with up to four children and boys over age 12. The new Home will be located in a safe, quiet setting close to transportation, good schools, and support services.

HEARTH currently serve 15 families at one time and the new home will allow them to serve 20.

They hold four special events each year. More information on upcoming events can be found on the website at http://www.hearth-bp.org/.  HEARTH is located at 8035 Mcknight Rd., Suite 303

Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Right now, they need committee and board volunteers. To get involved, contact Volunteer Manager, Vicky Gill, at VLGill@hearth-bp.org  or 412-366-9801 ext 13.

Lori Szala
Lori Szala has worked for the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills (PRCSH), an organization that provides young women and men with confidential medical care and compassionate peer counseling free of charge, in various capacities for 12 years.

She became the Executive Director in 2010. In her prior positions at the PRCSH, Lori helped develop the IN THE KNOW Educational Programs, sharing her personal story and inspiring local middle and high school students to consider abstinence in order to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs. In addition to her work with pregnant teens, Lori has made six mission trips to Africa and has helped drill a water well and build, supply and organize schools for children in small remote villages while teaching the IN THE KNOW program to thousands of students in HIV/AIDS infested regions. Lori and her husband, Scott, have been married for 20 years and have three children: Justin, Ashley, and Jeffrey.

Established as a charitable entity in 1989, PRCSH has been working to provide young adults with high-quality, professional, positive alternatives to an unplanned pregnancy. In addition to free pregnancy testing, the PRCSH offers ultrasound services, ongoing, confidential, peer-counseling and support for women and men; referrals for legal, medical, financial, and adoption services; clothing and furnishings; parenting and childbirth classes; after-hours helpline; post-abortion counseling and education; free STD testing and treatment services; young moms’ and dads’ support groups; IN THE KNOW Educational Programs presented in local high schools and middle schools; and sexual assault examinations and rape counseling.

Pregnancy Resource Center
 of the South Hills

A new service being offered is Sexual Assault examinations and counseling: S.A.N.E. nurses provide forensic sexual assault examinations and advocates walk alongside of sexual assault survivors; on-going individual and group counseling available.

Upcoming fundraisers: Walk-For-Life, Golf-For-Life, Celebration Banquet at Heinz Field.

PRCSH is located at 101 Drake Road, Pittsburgh, PA 1524, 412-833-6048, email Lori at execdirectorprcsh@comcast.net. For more information, please visit http://www.prcsh.org/.


Cynthia Boswell
Cynthia Boswell retired from YRC Worldwide, Inc. after thirty-three years, working in all departments. She also served in the capacity of office steward and was instrumental in the negotiation of three teamster contracts. She is a past president and board member of the Women's Traffic Club of Pittsburgh. She currently serves as a volunteer with the Wilkinsburg Ministerial Association, Amachi Pittsburgh, and Kairo's Outside. She also serves in many capacities and ministries at Deliverance Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA and continues to pursue her education and ministry. Cynthia is a wife, mother of three children, and grandmother of four. "As a teen mother myself, I immediately saw the opportunities presented by Heaven's Rainbow, Inc. to initiate life-changing curriculum for young teen and single mothers providing and offering future choices that promote God's words "you are fearfully and wonderfully made."

The mission of Heaven’s Rainbow, Inc. (HRI) is to empower young teen and single mothers ages 13-25 to build strong and stable lives. This mission is carried out through providing personal and professional development through means of resources, education, training, and life skills.

We offer three programs: Resource Referral Services, Transitioning Program, and Seasons of Change (SOC) Curriculum/Training Manual.
HRI is all volunteer based, and there are even success stories of young moms who have returned to volunteer with HRI. Clients are referred to HRI through word of mouth and agency referrals. When a client comes to HRI, we will meet with them one-on-one and prepare a complete assessment of their needs and develop a resource plan to refer them to various organizations for resource services.

Upcoming events include: our upcoming pilot program on April 20 & 27 with the University of Pittsburgh called *SIFE. We will have 5-10 young moms participate and between 5-10 SIFE student mentors match up with the young moms. We will conduct two pilot program days and if all goes well, we will start full program with them in August.

On September 8th we are looking to partner with Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church to conduct a "Day of Pampering" for 10-12 young moms through their "Project In As Much" annual community service program.

*SIFE: Students in Free Enterprise: SIFE brings together a diverse network of university students, academic professionals, and industry leaders around the shared mission of creating a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business. By contributing their talents to projects that improve the lives of people worldwide, SIFE participants are demonstrating that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change.

HRI will be expanding their office (funding from POISE Foundation and donation of office furniture and equipment from “You Call, We'll Haul, Inc.” (owner James Wallace-Beaver Falls) and working on strategic planning for existing and new services and expanding database (funded by PACE grant). They will also have various sites trained to conduct SOC groups all over the City, as well as use vacant buildings they own to create an umbrella of services for young moms all under one roof.

HRI is looking for churches and organizations who are interested in being trained on their SOC Curriculum/Mentor Program OR Interested in HRI conducting a workshop for their groups of young single moms. People can donate or sign up to volunteer through the website or by contacting HRI: 812 Swissvale Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221 (new address in May will be 800 Swissvale Avenue) 412-731-0777, Contact: Kimberly Burke,CEO, info@heavensrainbow.org or kburke@heavensrainbow.org. Online at http://www.heavensrainbow.org/.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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