Hopes Journey Home has been constructing a new maternity home on Tupper Street North in Portage la Prairie. Chair Glenda Dyck says it's a home for people who are in crisis pregnancies, and gives an update, noting doors and windows came in last week. Hydro was connected last week, as well. 

"We've had so many calls from the traffic division, different pregnancy centres, Teen Challenge, and we had a call from Alberta about a woman who was in a crisis pregnancy and in the traffic circle. In order to keep her safe, they had to have her out of the province. So, there's a lot of people needing us and so far, we can't give them a home. We had 12 women within one year that needed a place. A month ago, we had the Prairie Pregnancy Centre here in Portage ask, 'When are you going to be open, because I just had three young ladies in the last two weeks that needed your home?' So, we're eager to get it opened, but funding is a big thing. We are nonprofit and we are looking for funding to try and get this thing finished." 

Current progress in structureCurrent progress in structure

Secretary Janice Martens says women are free to come once the building's completed, if they're facing a crisis pregnancy, where they can feel secure. 

"They're going to have help with everyday chores, how to learn to take care of their child; not just the child itself, but also to learn how to do all of the things that moms do in a home. Being a single parent, possibly there's a lot of different areas where you have to be working at. So, we want to give the ladies the the opportunity to learn all the cooking skills and daily chores. The fact that education is right here in Portage helped us to make that decision to be in Portage because the Learning Centre is right close. The medical is close if there's medical needs that that they encounter."

She notes their goal is to see women leave the home with or without her child and be an asset to the community and to her child, if she chooses to keep it. Martens adds she can then be confident, knowing that what she's doing is worthwhile and important.

"We just want to be there for moms and children."

Martens notes they began plans for the build in March of 2018. 

Their sole purpose is to work with what women want to do with the their children once they're born, and not advise any direction. 

"A lot of people might think that that we're stepping on toes with putting this home up," says Martens. "We're not taking rights away from anyone. We're not forcing anybody to do anything. When a mom-to-be chooses to keep her child, that's when she comes to us. We don't persuade her to or not to do something. We just want to be there for when they make that decision. If they're going to be pro-life, then let's give them the tools that they need to be able to be pro-life." 

She explains those who choose to have an abortion are not criticized by the organization about that decision.

"That is not our job," adds Dyck. "That is not what we're there for at all. In fact, we want to offer grace because it's there just for the taking, and we want to make sure that everybody knows that it's there. That's the only way that I feel that we can really progress in life, itself. As long as you have a lot of guilt, as long as you have a lot of things that you you wonder about or you wish you had done differently, you're going to struggle. If you can come to grips with those things, then you can go on confidently. That having been said, once again, it's not our job to decide. Once that decision has been made, that's when they come to us or if they have no choice but they want to keep that child, we are going to be an outlet for them to be able to do that."

Martens explains there are five suites in the structure and one apartment for the house parent in the loft. She notes they plan to finish it as soon as possible, but it all depends upon funding coming in. 

People can donate at https://hopesjourneyhome.com/ as well as on Facebook, with all information at that website. 

"We were doing a bottle drive. And I'd really like to encourage people if they're interested in donating, if they're interested in doing the bottle drive," says Martens. "We do that from Mother's Day to Father's Day every year. You can fill a bottle or you can E transfer. We have found anywhere from $65 to $110 inside a little baby bottle. And every bottle helps."

"We've still got 1400 of them around," notes Dyck. "You can take that bottle and you can fill it throughout the year, and then our push will be between Mother's Day and Father's Day."

Their head office is currently in Austin, but it will be in Portage once the project is completed. Charissa is on the board and resides in Portage la Prairie. Bottles for fundraising can even be delivered to you where you can meet them. 

Ice cream truckIce cream trailer

They have received a donated ice cream truck and they sell treats with all proceeds going toward their cause and is run by volunteers, and have increased their menu. They attended the family Fun Day held by Our Farm. 

"You'll see us around, "says Dyck. "We've been at a number of places in MacGregor and in Austin already. We're going to be over at the museum for Threshermen's Reunion Days. We'll be parked over right beside the grandstand, and will be having our special burgers and hot dogs. We've actually been asked to serve at some weddings. That money all goes directly back to Hope's Journey Home because we're all volunteers."

They're up to about $600,000 that's been put into the house as of now, and are needing another $700,000 in order for it to finish.

"Right now, there's a huge push for $300,000 because we need that in order to finish what we're doing now," adds Dyck.