Homespace is a local community resource designed to help young mothers and at-risk young women to forge a better life for themselves and for their children. Recently, the organization commissioned a mural as part of a 25th anniversary celebration. The work of art, created by Mark Madden, owner of Madd Ink and Madd Grafix, is meant to be therapeutic in nature – Madden says that he incorporated lotus flowers to represent “beauty growing from beginnings in dark or murky waters.” The mural is not only a message of hope, it is also symbolic in that it recognizes those lost during childbirth as well as those gone too soon at the hands of violence.
The essence of the mural not only represents past accomplishments, it also signals a number of new advancements at Homespace.
Currently, the organization’s Second Chance Home program accommodates 14 to 21 year old pregnant/parenting and non-parenting youth placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect. The girls have access to 8 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms – the unit is staffed with Youth Support Specialists around the clock, 365 days a year. Homespace also provides services such as their Supervised Independent Living Program (SILP) and the Youth Parent Resource and Empowerment Program (Y-PREP), both of which help to support youth as they transition to living on their own.
Finally, Homespace’s newest program – Next Step – a small group home that can house up to six young women, is considered a transitioning stage for those (not pregnant and non-parenting) who are ready to enter SILP.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, $25,000 is now being allocated to the makeover of at least four of their SILP units. Thanks to a generous donation by the James H. Cumming Foundation, the first unit is now complete. M&T Bank has also donated funds, allowing for the second unit to get underway towards completion. Fundraising is still underway. For further information, visit www.homespacecorp.org. Homespace is located at 1030 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY.