Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge will dedicate its newly renovated and expanded home for homeless pregnant women on Tuesday, September 20. The Sanctuary for Life now also offers a safe haven for women and their newborns.
Bishop Robert W. Muench will bless and lead the dedication ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
“The Sanctuary for Life has offered a safe haven for over 250 women and unborn children since it was first established in 1999,” said David C. Aguillard. “As Louisiana’s only housing program of its type, its often saved the lives of the children and also their mothers who had no place else to turn,” he said.
The program prepares mothers to become the best parents they possibly can be while offering job training, education and transportation to prenatal care. Ninety percent of its graduates have left with a household established and a sound parenting plan. Now, with the addition of St. Patrick’s House on the property, some mothers will have also have a home where they can care for their newborns for up to six months if they need additional support after birth.
The ministry, operated by the Maternity and Adoption Services of Catholic Charities, has doubled their capacity with the ability to now serve up to 15 women and seven infants.
“Women in the program gain access to transportation, medical care, education and employment opportunities,” Aguillard said. “Clients who complete the program and have their babies have the opportunity to move into a Sanctuary for Life apartment where they can live in a supportive environment.”
Funding for the renovations has been provided by the Diocese of Baton Rouge through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, with donations from WHLC Architecture, Deumite Construction, The Ladies of the Cathedral, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Laville Cabinets, Olinde's Furniture and LWCC, among other private donors.