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Maternity Homes

Maternity Homes constitute housing programs of different varieties that provide housing services to pregnant women. Many offer additional supportive services, such as parental education or childcare.

The National Maternity and Housing Coalition classifies maternity homes into four general classifications:

•Live-In House Parents

•Live-In Staff

•Rotating/Shift Staff

•Shepherding/Host Homes

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Maternity homes constitute the longest-standing subset of PHOs in the United States. The Salvation Army opened the first maternity home, then called a “home for unwed mothers” in 1886. During the early 1900s, the Jewish Maternity Hospital was opened in New York City’s Lower East Side.   For most of their history, maternity homes were typically institutionalized and hidden, caring for women who intended to place their child(ren) for adoption. The modern model of maternity housing is significantly different, offering a family-style environment with supplemental support for women who choose to parent or place for adoption. As maternity housing evolved with the legalization of abortion, married couples often took in homeless pregnant women in a housing model typically referred to as “Shepherding Homes.”

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In the 1970s, Jim and Anne Pierson helped develop a more modern model for maternity homes. Following an encounter with a young college-aged woman—who was the victim of rape and in need of housing—the Piersons became acutely aware of the need to locate housing for homeless pregnant women as part of the overall need to serve women within the pro-life movement.  In response to this crisis, the Piersons housed the young woman who ultimately placed her child for adoption. Motivated by this experience, the Piersons opened their first maternity home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania shortly thereafter.

In 1984, the Piersons expanded their outreach and started Loving and Caring, Inc., a life-affirming non-profit that provides “materials and services to agencies and Christian ministries which serve teen moms, single parents, and families affected by crisis pregnancy” to over 5,000 ministries, organizations, and individuals. During this time, President Ronald Reagan praised the efforts of Loving and Caring, Inc. in a speech, bringing more recognition to the evolving maternity home movement.

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It is currently estimated that there are some 400 maternity housing locations throughout the United States, serving approximately 1,800 adult women. Some homes are small with one to two women. Others are large with twenty women or more. Most allow women to stay after giving birth.  The average length of time a woman is allowed to stay is estimated to be eight (8) months post-birth.


The modern model also seeks to care for women beyond just their temporary housing needs. Today, most maternity homes offer educational services, counseling services, job assistance and other resources to help women, whether they place their child for adoption or choose to parent.


Moving forward leaders of the modern maternity home movement would like to see increased maternity home options for women, including post-birth transitional housing for both mothers who parent and those who place for adoption.  Maternity homes may be recipients of various forms of government funding.

Maternity Homes in Arkansas

1 / Compact Family Services/Highlands Maternity Home

2325 Malvern Ave

Hot Springs, AR, 71901


2 / Restoration Village

2215 Little Flock Drive

Rogers, AR, 72756


3 / Compassion House Maternity Home

6045 Elm Springs Rd

Springdale, AR, 72762


4 / Second Chance Youth Ranch

PO Box 901 

Bryant, AR 72089


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