Londonderry residents looking to set up shelter, support home for pregnant womenBy MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent
May 24. 2017 10:05PM
LONDONDERRY — A nonprofit organization designed to help pregnant women is looking for a home in town.
The goal is to have $300,000 to $320,000 raised in the next six months to either buy or rent a home for the homestead of St. Gianna’s Place.
“We’re really open to everything,” said Liz Neville, a founding member of the organization.
The money remaining after purchase or rental costs will be used to help with general operation.
At the home, a woman will be able to stay there for up to a year, even after her child is born. She’ll have access to nutrition, financial assistance, child-care and parenting classes, opportunities to earn a GED, counseling, and basic necessities like clothing, food and a bed.
“The goal is to be able to help the woman provide for herself and child,” Neville said.
Neville said they are looking at settling in Londonderry because the organization’s founders and many members of the board of directors live there already.
“This is our community,” Neville said. “The Londonderry community is very generous in helping those less fortunate.”
This is the second undertaking Neville has taken like this. For years, she’s been running St. Gianna’s Closet out of her home, which provides clothing for children.
“The bulk of those people coming to me are single moms,” she said.
With experience working in a home similar to the one she wants to start, Neville said she’s been toying with the idea of opening one for the last 15 years.
Last summer, she and the three other founders — Monica Rahilly, Maria Szemplinski and Elizabeth Breuder — decided to make it a reality.
They’ve already set up a board of directors, established bylaws and registered as a nonprofit organization. The last step is finding a home to set up in.
They’ve had several coffee meetings with community and yard sales, and are looking to hold some sort of dinner in the coming months.
“We’re now in the stage of fundraising,” Neville said. “We’re hoping to get a benefactor to help us.”
Though there are several homes throughout the state designed to help women in need, there are only a couple whose specific mission is to help pregnant women.
Those looking to donate or find out more about their work can contact the organization by calling 247-8654, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or going to their website at www.stgiannasplace.org.