Last week, Project Row Houses allowed us inside two newly renovated houses the organization upkeeps as part of its Young Mothers Residential Program. The homes had been outfitted with furniture and appliances provided by Ikea as a donation to the program. And we have to say, the joints are pretty swanky. What's better is the fact that it's a great cause.
Michael Peranteau, PRH's development guru, gave us the rundown.
"When [Project Row Houses] started 16 years ago there were two big needs. One was kids, and we started an education program. The other was single moms and teenage pregnancy. We've been doing that for 13 years. These houses are all renovated, air-conditioned, insulated, with kitchens. But they've kind of gotten into disrepair. That's where Ikea came in. We had two moms who graduated from college and moved out, and we had two new moms moving in. The first is a high-school mom, who's 18, and another mom who's 26 with two children. So these are going to be their houses. Ikea will eventually [renovate] all the houses and the community house."
"Most of the moms we get are coming from shelters or their parents have thrown them out, so to move in to something like this will be phenomenal. They pay $75-a-month rent; they have to be in college full-time, have a job. We help them with child care. It's an intensive program in that they have sessions every week where they learn about finances, how to buy a house, how to buy a car, how to get your credit straight, better childcare practices, parenting. They do group counseling and individual counseling. One of the moms in the program was in a film that was made about us, Third Ward TX [see above video clip]. Today she's a lawyer with her own practice, and she's on our board of directors. Another mom went on to get her PhD."
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