Heart of the High Plains: Martha’s Home

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Providing shelter for homeless women and mothers with children, that’s what Martha’s Home has been doing for over three decades now.

It all started with a simple but powerful idea by a few women who had just $300, a donated house and a desire to provide shelter for women and homeless mothers.

“They were seeing an increase in Amarillo and in the nation overall 30 years ago of women becoming homeless in addition to men on the street, a lot of women, a lot of families, a lot of children,” said Connie Garcia, Martha’s Home Executive Director.

Over 30 years later, the non-profit is still going strong, now offering five house for area homeless women and their children.

But Garcia says they’re more than just a bed for a night.

“Our ladies stay here three to four months. They take life skills courses in budgeting, money management, job readiness training like resume writing, interview skills, communication classes, mental health classes, parenting,” said Garcia.

Martha’s Home helps around 120 to 150 women and children every year.

But last year the pandemic caused a lot of fear for them and their residents.

“A lot of ladies lost their jobs because many of them were waitresses. It was a good way to make a lot of money fast to get back on your feet. That’s a staple for a lot of our women and they lost those jobs. We struggled a bit but the community has been a tremendous help to us. Many of our ladies were able to go out and get jobs in grocery stores and as essential workers,” said Garcia.

Garcia says seeing the women come together and support each other during a tough time, just shows what they’re doing is working.

“They cook. They clean. They come around the table and share their meals like a family because we’re in actual homes. Most of our clients do go on to move to a home, stay employed and come back and help the others and mentor the others because we’re able to take that extra time and attention needed to really break that cycle,” said Garcia.

Martha’s Home will hold their 13th annual “Second Chance Prom” on April 24.

For more information on that and Martha’s Home, click here: https://www.marthashome.org/

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