Posted on June 26, 2015

Dawn Murray did not initially feel called to start a safe house for teen mothers. Mrs. Murray volunteered in homeless shelters, but after watching teenage mothers be turned away because of their age, she knew something had to be done to specifically help pregnant young women. As a result, Mrs. Murray established The House of Dawn Second Chance Home that has been serving the community for 15 years.
House of Dawn provides a stable environment to teen mothers ages 13-19. The three main goals of the Second Chance Home are to serve the mothers and children, help prevent homelessness, and maintain unification of families. The home offers childcare, education and recreational opportunities, as well as parenting and vocational classes. These classes are designed to enable the women to live independent lifestyles and be effective parents. The home also focuses on the children by offering medical, nutritional, and developmental care. One of the goals of this program is to foster a lasting bond between the mother and the child.
Additionally, House of Dawn’s Transitional Living Program offers housing assistance to single women ages 18-23 and their children. A life coach is assigned to the women to provide parenting and life skills, educational enhancement, housing supervision, access to health care, and child care services. This program addresses the barriers that young single women face such as poor credit, lack of life skills, lack of community and family support, mental illness/disabilities, and being able to attain affordable housing. With the proper life skills and training, House of Dawn helps women overcome these hurdles to live self-sufficient lives.
The House of Dawn also takes preventative measures with their Outreach Program by giving young women in the community information on preventing pregnancy. Their aim is to provide women with the knowledge they need to make good decisions and take hold of their futures. House of Dawn is taking proactive measures to reverse the cycles of teenage pregnancy in our community. By helping young women realize their potential, House of Dawn is decreasing welfare dependency, abortion rates, and second pregnancies.
House of Dawn has been a client of Pro Bono Partnership since 2006 with volunteer attorneys advising the organization on 18 legal issues including employment, healthcare and corporate governance. In the past year, Sutherland attorneys Michael Kerman, Evie Hightower, and Brooke Parris assisted House of Dawn in a commercial real estate closing and Scott Wright helped the organization apply for property tax exemption.