Tirzah Place: A New Community
Imagine you have two children and you’re trying to find a place to live. They are both not old enough to go to daycare, so you’re struggling to find a job. Your family has kicked you out. At the age of 20, you’re sitting in your car with two kids looking for a place to sleep tonight. That is the reality of many single mothers in Wisconsin and all over the United States.
This is one of the many reasons Tirzah Place exists (you can watch this video to learn more about our story). We exist to provide a community–a family–of love. In my day job working with pregnant women, I (Alycia) help many mothers struggling because they are pregnant. The pregnancy is not the “problem” but rather other aspects of life are, such as no support system or stable job.
Most single mothers I have worked with really want to care for their children. They also have very little support. Women call me and ask for help because they have nowhere to go, nowhere to turn. My job becomes about finding them a community and being a support for them. One of the greatest problems of all single mothers in the United States is the lack of community or family. With this, a lot of things could change.
I (Courtney) remember coming out of college with a burden in my heart for single mothers. I took this burden and decided to start a ministry for single mothers at my church. Here I was, 20 years old, trying to love, encourage and equip single mothers. As I look back on this short endeavor, I realize now that there was so much pride and brokenness these single mothers carried.
They have gotten this far without anyone's help, so why would they need it now? I remember hosting events for the single mothers in my church and getting so frustrated because not even half of them would show up. Each event, I worked around schedules, provided a meal for their family, and put together a special time for the mothers. They were always sent home with a gift and food for their family. I would reach out to them with encouragement and prayers. One time, I helped a mom clean her home. I was trying to be their community, support and family.
The difference between Alycia’s story and my own is the demographic of women we were working with. The majority of the women Alycia works with are newer or younger moms, while the women I worked with had been moms for a couple years. They weren’t used to anyone helping them. No one had ever really taken the time to invest in them or their children, so when I came along they didn’t know what to do. The only thing they knew was to put their guard up because of how they’d been let down in the past.
Tirzah Place is driven by the need to help young mothers and provide family when they’re feeling alone. It reaches the mothers who don’t have a home and teaches them about family and the body of Christ so they can help others in the future. Tirzah Place helps provide a hope that single mothers–no matter their age–can turn to community for help. We believe the body is called to embrace one another as a family.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
This is our heart–the body acting as a family to those in need. If you feel a stirring in your heart for single mothers, check out Embrace Grace and consider starting your own community for single mothers in your local church. If you feel led to Tirzah Place and want to know how you can help, go to our website and learn more.
How can you use your own spiritual gifts to help others in need?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alycia is one of the founders of Tirzah Place. She has years of expertise working with pregnant women, including family resource centers, pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and a residential home for teenage mothers. Her desire is to see every woman reach their full potential and embrace the beauty of motherhood.