Clare House is the Lemon Street Market #GiveLocal partner for September and October. We caught up with Taraya Wright, Life Skills Director at Clare House to chat about providing space and services for vulnerable and sometimes disenfranchised individuals who need help. When customers opt to round up at the register, all proceeds will be donated to Clare House in order to provide a safe place for Lancaster’s women and children.
What are some of the reasons women and children come to Clare House?
Women and children come to Clare House for several reasons. Some women are literally homeless, living with friends/family, some women are fleeing domestic violence, some moms complete an education program like Milagro House and are interested in employment so they transition into Clare House-employment based program.
What might a typical family’s day at Clare House look?
A typical family’s day would consist of completing chores: Making sure the house and their rooms are clean prior to them leaving for the day. Most moms work first shift jobs, so they are dropping their children off at school or daycare. Then, moms are heading to work or in a work ready program such as CareerLink. After their work day is completed, they arrive to Clare House with their children, cook for their family, complete homework with their children, participate in our life skills meetings, and prepare for the next day (to do it all over again).
What are some things Clare House needs and how can community members help?
Clare House needs volunteers, supplies for families, and individuals in the community who can provide life skills to our families. Volunteers are essential at Clare House! They provide child care, help with the maintenance of Clare House, and other tasks assigned by the house manager. As for supplies; Clare House provides diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, household and personal items for families while they residents, and 1 year after-when the families move into their own homes. By providing the supplies for families, we are helping to offset any costs they have; that way, they can save more money. We all know diapers alone, can be expensive.
Why is it important to provide a safe place for women and children in Lancaster?
It is important to provide a safe place for women and children because these are vulnerable and sometimes disenfranchised people who need help.
What role does Clare House play in the Lancaster community?
Clare House not only serves homeless women with children, we are also serving teenagers aging out of the foster care system. Because Clare House is a highly independent program, it plays an important role of not letting individuals/families “fall through the cracks.” Clare House does not receive Government funding so there are not as many limitations as to what we can/cannot do.
If you could give a shout-out to one of your greatest Lancaster County supporters, who would it be and why?
Off The Streets is an AMAZING organization that helps families successfully transition out of Clare House! (OTS is an organization that only accepts referrals through other organizations, they do not allow self-referrals). They help with furniture and security deposits for our families.
By shopping at Lemon Street Market, customers are directly supporting more than 75 local farmers and vendors, and even more through local distributors like Lancaster Farm Fresh, Oasis, and Four Seasons. Help us to contribute even more to our community by choosing to #GiveLocal when you check out at Lemon Street Market. Shoppers can elect to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar when they check out or choose to increase their at-the-register donation by adding to their round up value.
Taraya Wright, MSW, Life Skills Director, Clare House, Inc.