NORWALK—A Fairfield County landmark giving hope to pregnant women for nearly two decades has entered a collaboration to expand and enhance its help for mothers and their babies.
Malta House, which opened in Norwalk in 1998 to feed and shelter homeless women from all backgrounds eager to keep their unborn children, today officially debuts a new collaboration that renames the home Good Counsel Malta House of Connecticut.
“We’ve formed a collaboration with Good Counsel maternity homes, already well respected in the tri-state area and beyond, to extend our community’s mission improving the lives of moms and infants,” said Kim Petrone, Chair of Malta House.
“Linked with Good Counsel’s network and resources, we’ll be able to provide even greater access to health services, education, job skills and more for expectant and parenting mothers,” Petrone said. “Good Counsel also has the ability to provide care for women with substance abuse and mental health disorders, ensuring that no woman who seeks our help will ever have to be turned away. This capability is a win-win for Connecticut and our home in support of human dignity and family stability.”
Good Counsel Malta House of Connecticut brings to seven the number of maternity homes in a widely recognized network that was founded in 1985. Petrone said this new collaboration continues to value the long-standing local support from individuals, civic groups and leaders with a vision of expanding services to more of the state.
“We’ve been the only home of our kind serving Fairfield County,” she said. Ten expectant or parenting moms from a range of difficult backgrounds currently reside at Good Counsel Malta House of Connecticut in a faith-based community with 24/7 staff support.
Christopher Bell, Good Counsel’s co-founder and president, said the new collaboration affirms the goal to help more moms and more babies, unborn and recently born, in the state. The goal has long held true for residents in Good Counsel homes, which are now located in New York, New Jersey, and Alabama, as well.
“Our community model of broad services—motivated by our faith values to help prepare for birth, parenting, career, and future independence for the sake of moms and children alike—is already in place at Good Counsel Malta House of Connecticut,” Bell said.
One of the current residents, Autumn, says she has appreciated the experience of a true home shared by moms, kids, and staff mentors. The experience of resources and responsibilities in the Fairfield County home started when she arrived in March, after she and her ill mother were evicted from their apartment.
“My mother and I were living out of our minivan, and I was eight months pregnant and needed help,” Autumn said. “I had not heard of Malta House until a shelter referred me here, and it has been a true godsend. I have been learning so much about so many things—like budgeting, parenting, and self-respect.”
Autumn gave birth on April 22 to Ameerah, who is now one of nine infants in the caring atmosphere “where everybody pitches in day and night, and no one feels alone,” as Autumn put it. She says she is embracing skills for parenting her new daughter while also benefiting from the home’s shared care-giving, which allows her time to train to be a dental assistant: “I’m learning to be a better woman—both for myself and for Ameerah.”
“When maternity homes come together, more options are created for moms and babies,” Good Counsel president Bell said. He added, “This collaboration brings more people from the margins into the mainstream.”
Contact Bill Schmitt at 574.276.0340 and firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or requests for interviews.