Among the great traits the city of McKinney has is its kind hearts to those in need. McKinney is home to several charitable organizations looking to help people with food, clothing, education and even a roof over their head.
One such location is Shiloh Place.
“Shiloh” was a place for weary travelers to rest before continuing their journey. Today, as in historical times, this is needed more than ever. Even though Collin County and McKinney are growing and prosperous, many single, homeless mothers face danger, difficulty and desperation.
Shiloh Place is a non-profit, Christ-centered housing ministry providing hope and stability to single mothers through a supportive and structured program. The number one indicator of poverty in the United States is single parent households; and one in four children are being raised by a single parent. Shiloh wants to equip women to become resourceful and able to provide for their children without government assistance. It hopes to give them a firm foundation for their future and their child(ren)’s future.
There is a compelling need for this kind support in McKinney. The No. 1 indicator of poverty in the United States is single parent households, says author Pam Stenzel. In Collin County there are over 7,200 single mother households, according to Texas State Vital Statistics for Collin County.
• A 2012 survey counted over 320 homeless adults in Collin County. Over half of them reported having children with them. That number is up 50% over last year. The majority of these homeless families are single women.
• Single moms often reside in unstable and threatening environments. Cara Mendelsohn, chairwoman of the Collin County Homeless Coalition said many homeless women and children live in cars, storage units, and motels. They do not want to be found for fear of losing their children.
• Lynne Sipiora, Executive Director of The Samaritan Inn homeless shelter in McKinney states “We’ve been turning away 30 to 50 families a week for 18 months.”
• 67% of Collin County single moms have children under the age of 18 and 67% of these single moms live below the poverty line.
• 20% of single moms in Collin County have less than a high school education. Low levels of parental education are another key contributing factor for being low income.
These statistics create a bleak picture for single women struggling to provide for their children. Without a strong support system and training opportunities these moms have a difficult future ahead of them. Their children’s future is also at risk. These generational effects become costly for society since a high percentage of these families continue to rely on government assistance to meet basic life needs.
The purpose of Shiloh Place is to provide women and their children a safe and stable environment to live while they acquire the life and work skills to become productive, self-sustaining, self-respecting moms. A steady, livable income will assist these mothers to become self-sufficient and not rely on government support. This eases the economic burden on the local community.
Here are the support services Shiloh Place will provide:
• Case management support and life skills training allow mothers to obtain the parenting and life skills necessary to not only be successful at work, but also grow as mothers and healthy women.
• Education and job training. These women are limited in their employment opportunities and income potential. Therefore, heavy emphasis will be placed on formal education and job training. The goal is for them to secure employment that pays a livable wage.
• Safe and affordable housing as long as the participant remains in school or some other training program; this housing will be subsidized.
• Financial assistance to help cover both training and childcare needs.
• Community of support to walk alongside them.
Being that Shiloh Place is a start-up non-profit, it relies fully on private donations. This support allows the organization to provide housing, educational services, childcare and transportation to a family who might otherwise remain in crisis and despair. More importantly, the financial support allows Shiloh to show the hope in a tangible and lasting way. All donations are tax-deductible.
Shiloh Place also gets help from sponsorships and benefit events. One such event, the 11th Annual Run for Cover, will be held on April 13 in Stonebridge Ranch, with proceeds to benefit Shiloh Place and The Samaritan Inn. Click here for more information.
In addition, Shiloh Place will be hosting a Spring Brunch on Sunday, April 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heard-Craig House. The brunch is for ladies of all ages, including mothers, daughters, grandmothers, etc. Unique and crafty items will be available for purchase as well. The brunch is being held as a fundraiser for Shiloh Place and a portion of all proceeds will go directly towards providing childcare for Shiloh families. Tickets go on sale March 1 and corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available. You can contact Kristin Mycke, Executive Director of Shiloh Place, at Kristin@shilohplacemckinney.org or visit their calendar.
Shiloh Place is looking to partner with local businesses, churches and volunteers. Donations can be given online, in person or via mail. For more information, call 469-534-9407 or visit them online at shilohplacemckinney.org.