Homeless teen mother's story generates thousands of dollars - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Homeless teen mother's story generates thousands of dollars in donations

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The house can provide shelter for up to five homeless teenage girls and their babies. The house can provide shelter for up to five homeless teenage girls and their babies.
Sarah Nielson, Project Home Indy Sarah Nielson, Project Home Indy
INDIANAPOLIS -

A local homeless teenage mom was given a second chance. The 17-year-old girl needed a home and a helping hand for her four-month-old baby.

It was a story that generated an outpouring of generosity.

"Last week, as I interviewed a prospective resident, a tear ran down her cheek as she said, 'You know, I just want to live somewhere where all of the adults are working and no one runs out of money or gas," read Sarah Nielsen.

Those are just some of the words from a homeless teen mother that sparked a force so deep within Sarah Nielson that even she couldn't have imagined the power it would generate.

"These are real kids that are working so hard and just need one more piece to fall into place," said Sarah.

That piece is Project Home Indy where Sarah is the Executive Director. This non-profit agency provides a home to teenage moms and moms-to-be who don't have one. But, the home, food, and clothing are just part of it. There's also the staffing and counseling.

"So, that is everything from someone to sit with them when they're up at night worrying about school to someone helping with homework, driving them to doctor's appointments, helping them cook dinner, helping them take care of their babies," said Sarah.

All of that plus the round-the-clock care and transportation costs about $83,000 per girl per year. Enter momastery.com, it's creator Glennon Melton, and what's called a Love Flash Mob.

"She said what would it do if we raised $83,000 for you, and for us in this particular time, it was very concrete, if we had that money we could move one move one more person in," said Sarah.

So, within six hours of posting that teen mom's story, momastery.com and Project Home Indy raised that $83,000. Then came the phone call to the teenage girl telling her she had a home.

"I could hear her through the phone say, 'Are you serious? Are you serious?' And for us, there's not a better moment than that," said Sarah.

A big part of this love flash mob is making it a community effort. That's why the maximum donation allowed is just $25. When you do the math, to raise $83,000 that means at least 3,320 people committed to the cause. And the gifts keep on coming - gifts from people everywhere who still want to help.

But the best gift is already here - a young mom walking into a bright new future.

Project Home Indy opened in 2011 and has helped 13 girls. They can house up to five girls at a time.

Glennon Melton, founder of momastery.com, will be in Indianapolis on Sunday, May 5th, to speak at a Project Home Indy fundraiser.

Project Home Indy - The "love flash mob" is now closed, but you can still donate to the non-profit.

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