MAYA’S House was started by the Junior League of Rockford and was originally housed in the Red Cross Shelter. Parents could leave their children with the day care provider while they attended the many appointments required by programs and government agencies who serve families that are homeless.
MAYA’S House is a drop-in center for children under five whose families are homeless. The doors open at 9:00 am and close at 12:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Families come from Remedies, the domestic violence agency, Rockford Rescue Mission and other organizations where children are attached to the parents.
MAYA’S House is not a full-time day care, though it follows DCFS guidelines for staffing, is licensed by the Winnebago County Health Department and meets the city zoning requirements for child care programs.
Provide Shelter: MAYA’S House is a calm, pleasant, nurturing environment for children that supports the developmental needs of the growing child and recognizes the imprint poverty and homelessness often leave on children. (Children from families that are homeless experience serious mental illness at 3 times the rate of children who are housed.)
Awaken Hope: During the hours of operation, children are offered breakfast, healthy snacks, and lunch. Clothing and supplies are always available to parents. Diapers, a scarce resource, are provided by Grace United Methodist Church in Rockford. Crusader Clinic provides onsite health care, the Knights of Columbus provide bread every Tuesday morning and the Rockford Public Library provides a weekly story hour for the children. MAYA’S House endeavors to break the cycle of poverty and instill a moment of possibility in children. The staff believes that every seed planted will root and when the moment is right, it will grow. MAYA’S House staff and volunteers are seed planters!
Honor Dignity: Children are not responsible for the circumstances of their families, and families are often not responsible for the circumstances of their lives. Every family is seen as the possibility they might be, and Shelter Care supports their efforts to raise themselves and their children from helplessness to hopefulness. Giving children equal footing at this young age is a small beginning, yet it is a beginning.
Key collaborations include:
Rockford Public School District #205
The Rockford Public Library
University of Illinois Extension focused on nutrition
Grace United Methodist Church
Christ United Methodist Church
Court Street United Methodist Church
Rockford Rescue Mission’s Women’s Crisis Center
WAVE, Early Childhood Development Programs
Junior League of Rockford