PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Firm Foundation of Virginia is settling into their new Portsmouth home with a warm welcome from the community.
The nonprofit provides temporary housing and services for single mothers, their children and expecting mothers ages 18-35.
The faith-based nonprofit celebrated the recent opening of temporary housing location in Portsmouth Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.
Mayor Shannon Glover and Sheriff Michael Moore were among the city leaders who attended.
“It’s just another opportunity to provide a safe haven for those vulnerable citizens,” said Glover. “Single mothers — those pregnant mothers, perhaps —they may not have anywhere to turn. This is a beacon that brings them to safety that brings them to security, and I think everybody has a right to expect that."
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is completely furnished.
One bedroom is an office, an expecting mother is already staying in another room, and there is space for another mother with two children to move in.
“This is not a shelter. This is a home environment where they are learning life skills so they can do this on their own,” said Firm Foundation of Virginia Executive Director Melissa Peele.
Mothers are expected to use 30% of their income to pay household bills. The goal is to help them transition into a permanent home they can afford.
“They can stay in the program for up to a year where they are getting financial education, career readiness, employment skills,” said Peele.
Named after a woman who lived her life giving back to the community, James Edward Jr. invited the faith-based nonprofit to move into what is now being called "Ms. Bertha’s Place" to honor his late mother.
“It’s something to continue the memory of the service that’s in her because, actually, I wouldn’t have that heart if she didn’t have that heart,” said Edward.