HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -- A new home opened today in Hannibal that will give struggling mothers a safe place to live. The Erma Ruth home is relying on donations from the community to serve a growing need in the Hannibal area.
There are four bedrooms in the Erma Ruth House available for women in need. Organizers say they hope having a safe place for women to turn to will help them get back on their feet.
"I will never know the hopelessness of a woman with a child and no place to go," said Wiley Hibbard, one of the founders of the Erma Ruth Home.
Hibbard says he hopes the home will provide a place of refuge and inspiration for struggling moms. That vision is shared by his co-founder.
"A place full of love where they don't have to worry about being in a bad environment with their children," said Executive Director Nikki Branham.
Branham says as a single mother, she knows how hard it can be to raise a child while balancing a job, child-care, and rent payments.
"I never would have made it without my parents where I was able to go to school full-time and then work part-time, and they helped me out a lot. I know there's a lot of women who don't have that help," said Branham.
In addition to giving single moms a good home, Branham says she wants to provide that support for moms who don't have anyone else to turn to.
"I want to help them become self-sufficient," said Branham.
Branham will live in the home with other single moms, helping them learn life skills like cooking and cleaning while also providing transportation for them to classes in the community.
"All we need to do is change one life and this place will be a success for us," said Hibbard.
Women will be allowed to stay in the home for up to a year. Women who live in the home will be asked to pay rent payments based on their financial situation.
The home, named after Hibbard's mother, is currently has three rooms open to for women and children.
If you're interested in living in the home or donating to it, you can contact the home at 573-248-8262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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