As we continue our journey around Franklin County, let’s get to know more about Simon House!
Founded in 1985, Simon House is a nonprofit agency that provides emergency shelter to women who have fallen upon hard times and are pregnant or have children. Simon House provides social services in a safe, healthy, and judgment-free environment. They strive to help mothers become self-sufficient and productive members of their community. In 2019, Simon House served a total of 54 mothers and children at the house.
Simon House’s goal is to provide shelter for women and children who are homeless. They provide them with their own space and offer programs for them to become financially stable so they don’t lose their home again. Simon House staff helps mothers find jobs and teaches them budgeting skills to save money. During a mother’s stay at Simon House, the staff works hard to help her overcome whatever barriers she is experiencing, in addition to providing her with necessities such as hygiene essentials, food, shelter and a loving environment.
United Way of the Bluegrass assists Simon House through grants. With these grants, Simon House is able to buy supplies for their clients, as well as other low-income members of the Franklin County community. They also use the grant money to perform general maintenance on the house and take care of any upkeep issues that may arise. In addition, Simon House received over 150 hygiene bags from UWBG’s 2020 #ShareYour24 initiative.
One of many inspiring stories from Simon House is about an expectant mother who came to them straight from a drug rehabilitation program when she was nine months pregnant. This mother was older and had had children in the past, but was determined to be a constant in this little girl’s life. The mother and daughter spent the first year of the daughter’s life at the Simon House. Staff helped the mother find a job and obtain child care assistance. The duo left after a year, and staff were able to help move them into their new home.
“We’re a caring, judgment-free zone. We want people to feel comfortable asking for help because we know that’s not the easiest thing to do. When someone walks in, we show them compassion and empathy for whatever their story is. Every story is different and important and we want them to understand they can tell that story and not be judged for it or looked down on, and can receive the resources that they need to help their situation,” said Rachelle Foley, Director of Simon House.