Growing up has ups and downs for everyone, but if you add housing insecurity into the equation, facing the challenges of youth can feel next to impossible. “We know that children who grow up in a shelter environment struggle more at school, with their health and in other important areas,” says Patricia Bosman, executive director of The Haven of Grace. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping young pregnant women who are facing homelessness and their children find security and independence. Founded by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ladue, it offers shelter and other critical services to young families so they can enjoy promising futures.
“In Missouri, the incidence of both infant and maternal mortality rates have increased—that impacts the population we serve almost doubly,” Bosman notes. “Imagine facing the odds of being unhoused, uneducated and unemployed at the same time.” The Haven of Grace’s maternity shelter provides services for one year to women with children under the age of 5, and transitional housing offers support for two additional years. Along with housing, families receive assistance with financial literacy, behavioral and therapeutic counseling, education and employment readiness, and the Aftercare Program works with the family for up to 10 years to avoid homelessness reoccurrence.
While The Haven of Grace is dedicated to helping unhoused pregnant people today, their goal is to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty so that their children can look forward to a brighter future. “Our focus is on changing the lives of the entire family,” Bosman says. “We take a holistic approach. While that does mean extensive case management support for mothers, it also means providing early educational opportunities for children as well as services such as art and play therapy. We’re helping moms care for their children in unprecedented ways so they can make it to adulthood happy and thriving.”
The Haven of Grace serves around 150 women and children annually and has impacted thousands of lives over the years by providing shelter and other resources necessary to reach self sufficiency. To make its mission possible, the nonprofit relies on grants and donations. Its largest annual fundraiser is A MOMentous Luncheon. “The needs of any shelter are great,” Bosman notes. “The luncheon is our biggest opportunity to reach the community and share what we are doing. Last year, we had more than 400 people attend, and we hope to have as many this year. We are so grateful for the level of support St. Louis has shown us.”
This year’s Momentous Luncheon is May 8 at the Missouri Athletic Club and will be a celebration of motherhood. “Children are an inheritance from the Lord, and we are honored to be entrusted with these little ones,” honorary event chairs Lesa and Robert Steward say. “We will continue to support and work alongside The Haven of Grace as they empower young women in reaching stability and independence for their young families. Because of The Haven of Grace, the chain of homelessness and poverty is being broken for generations to come, and we’re grateful to have played a part.”
The Haven of Grace provides homeless expectant mothers a place to live, educational programs and long-term support to break the chain of generational poverty. Its A MOMentous Luncheon is May 8 at the Missouri Athletic Club. Pictured on the cover: Executive director Patricia Bosman, honorary event chairs Lesa and Robert Steward. For more information, call 314.621.6507 or visit havenofgracestl.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography
Pictured at the top: Robert and Lesa Steward, Patricia Bosman
Photo: Tim Parker Photography