Housing Undocumented Women: When, Why, and How

Valerie Harkins is joined by Faith Cintron from Aid for Women (Chicago, IL) to discuss how to best serve undocumented women in the maternity home setting. Faith draws from her experience to answer Valerie’s “frequently asked questions” surrounding this topic.

Sponsored by: Heart & Home E-Newsletter


  • Undocumented residents may come from all over the world. Maternity home staff should be prepared to be understanding of different cultures and traditions.
  • It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes and build a strong relationship with agents so that residents can obtain the correct paperwork as asylum seekers.
  • Connect with area churches that serve the same culture as your resident to help them feel more comfortable.
  • Government assistance may not be available to undocumented women; check your state laws.
  • Maternity homes can help women stay on top of court appointments and paperwork so that they can legally stay in your home.
  • Ask lots of questions! Be ready and willing to learn.

Hope: The Journey of sharing Jesus in Maternity Homes

Valerie Harkins, Director of the Maternity Housing Coalition interviews Allie Reuscher, Director of The Nesting Place Maternity Home about her experiences that led her to starting a maternity home, and what she has learned along the way. They discuss challenges that come with opening a new home and when/how to share the Gospel.

Email Valerie at Housing@heartbeatinternational.org

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

This is the time of year when we hear a message of peace and good will, and it’s even common to hear Christian Christmas tunes in secular settings. However, we still look at the world and see so much turmoil! Valerie Harkins takes us through a message of what God’s peace provides us during these times both as individuals and as ministry workers.

Sponsored by: Heartbeat International’s Annual Conference


Preventing Burnout in Your Maternity Home – Gina Tomes

Valerie Harkins interviews Gina Tomes about how the 24/7 care model of maternity homes can take a toll on staff and volunteers. Through years of experience (including founding the maternity home, Bethlehem House), Gina has learned a few key things to watch out for and how to prevent burnout among staff.

Contact housing@heartbeatinternational.org to connect with Valerie Harkins, Heartbeat International Housing Specialist


  • High staff turnover is often attributed to burnout or exhaustion, especially in ministry work.
  • Staff should be trained well so that they are equipped to handle the many needs of residents.
  • Cross-training staff can help each staff member to take time off regularly.
  • Find a housing model that works well for both residents and staff.
  • Retreats and conference get your team outside of their typical day-to-day work and allows for time of fellowship and sharing of ideas.
  • Register here for Heartbeat’s Annual Conference!

Sponsored by Heartbeat Academy


Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Women seeking help from maternity homes are often caught up in a cycle of domestic abuse. Ashley Potts, Founder and Executive Director of Selah Creek Maternity Home, explains how homes  can prepare to serve victims of abuse by learning as much about trauma-informed care as possible, and most importantly, learning to listen and develop trust. Listen in as Ashley shares how she and her team have helped women go from feeling that domestic violence is just the “normal” of relationships, to making cycle-breaking choices that will have a lasting effect on generations to come.

You can reach Ashley Potts at ashley@selahcreek.org or visit www.selahcreek.org

Sponsored by: Heart and Home