For about 20 years, Lynn Reid helped provide maternity homes for women in need. As fulfilling as the work was, she noticed that something was absent.
“One of the pieces that we really found missing is the place that the women ended up was government housing,” said Reid. “That pushed them back into a dependent lifestyle and, most of all, God was absent.”
Reid decided to branch out and create a new opportunity for women and families — one that would offer them a permanent home.
Mary’s Homes of Hope opened its first home in Arvada on June 1. It currently offers single women, women who are pregnant, and women with born children a Christ-centered home and opportunities for stable success in the world.
Mary’s Homes operates with spiritual assistance from the Capuchin Franciscans here in Denver. Priests from the order are able to say Mass at the house, which will soon have its open chapel with the ability to host the Blessed Sacrament.
The home is designed for women who have experienced homelessness, among other struggles.
“Right now, there are so many of our brothers and sisters on the streets that have jobs, that want to get their lives together and are trying hard, but they don’t have a permanent place to live,” said Reid.
“This has been a calling and a prayer for a long time.”
When a woman moves into the home, she has the opportunity to learn from workshops offered by professionals, participate in Bible studies and faith classes, and budget her income while paying a small rent based on her earnings and bills.
Compared to a maternity home or temporary housing, Mary’s Homes of Hope allows women to stay as long as they need — sometimes, Reid and her team of volunteers imagine, that will mean for life.
Currently, one woman lives in the house along with Reid, and other spots are available. To qualify, the women need to have a job and undergo a criminal and a credit background check.
Reid prays that someday Mary’s Homes of hope will open up more houses, and that they will be able to serve husbands as well.
This has been a calling and a prayer for a long time.”
And from the way everything fell into place when the first house was opening, that dream doesn’t seem far off.
“We began researching, and a Catholic family came forward, purchased the [current] home and now leases it back to us,” said Reid.
Following that, the woman selling the house — who happened to be Catholic — invited Reid to a garage sale, where she planned to sell much of her furniture and house décor.
“As we looked around,” said Reid, “I finally said to her, ‘Would you do me a favor? Would you pray and see what you would want for everything?’ She said, ‘Sure.’ The next day she called, and she practically gave everything to us.
“This was God at work,” said Reid.
Reid looks forward to housing more women in need, and her hope for them is simple: “That they know how much God loves them.”
For more information, call Mary’s Homes at (303) 424-9007.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Mary’s Homes of Hope as a ministry of the Capuchin Franciscans. Mary’s Homes operates independently with assistance from the Capuchins for Mass and pastoral support. We apologize for the error.