In 2019, a team in the Monroe area assembled to create what would become Selah’s Center of Hope. In response to a lack of comprehensive, compassionate care and services for pregnant women, the Center offers sustainable solutions to women experiencing difficulties surrounding unexpected pregnancy. The Center offers mothers a year of residential support, coaching them through ‘transformational phases’ during their stay and provides real-world resources to set them up for success on their journey as mothers.

“We formed a board in 2019, launched in 2020 and then COVID hit. It was devastating but God started flooding in resources, people, and donations in the most unbelievable of ways. It was almost as if God knew that organizations and the community would need the help we were uniquely created to provide, especially in a virtual format,” shared founder Kara Dowler. 

Selah’s Center is changing the lives of women like Mya*. Mya came to Selah’s Center in dire straits. Only 18 years old, she came to the Center seven months pregnant with her first child. She was unhoused with no means of transportation, no GED, no assistance, and had limited external support. 

Selah’s Center is a 2020 grant recipient by the Catholic Foundation. The grant supported Mya’s stay at Selah’s Center, where she experienced their team’s Christ-led love for her and the growing child in her womb, as well as their tireless dedication to her success.

Mya was able to graduate from Selah’s maternity home program with six months of funding for her apartment, a safe and warm place for her and her child to live. She purchased her own vehicle and paid it off, completed her GED, obtained basic life skills knowledge, and got a job as a dental assistant. Mya was blessed with her sweet baby boy on May 8, 2021, and she was able to welcome him with confidence that she was creating a good life for their family. 

Mya’s Child, Born: May 8, 2021

The community’s generous support of the Catholic Foundation’s granting funds made a life-long difference in Mya’s and her son’s lives by supporting the work of Selah’s Center of Hope. “My experience working with the Foundation has been fantastic. I have not worked with a foundation that gives so much support. I can see how much care and love they put into the process,” noted Kara. 

In the 18 months since its inception, Selah’s Center has housed nine women, including three currently housed at the maternity home, and has seen five babies born. The Center has reached beyond its own doors to offer educational and life skills to the community, forming partnerships with other pregnancy centers in the Toledo, Ohio area. By providing support for mothers and fathers, Selah’s Center is fighting generational poverty one family at a time. 

The Center is unapologetically faith-based, providing mothers with not only a model of Christ’s care for the disadvantaged but also giving them the tools they need to initiate and practice faith in their own families. “Being faith-based is something that we hold dear and that we incorporate in each of our classes to help our clients learn how to practically start and continue their walk with God,” shared Kara. 

Every dollar that comes into Selah’s Center not only provides relief and opportunities for women in need – it changes families for generations. From the first time they meet the team at Selah’s Center, these young women are greeted with compassion, care, and most of all, hope – a reflection of the kind of care Christ calls the Church to give.

Not everyone has the skillset or is in the right area to directly help young mothers like Mya, but all of us can respond to the need. Through the Catholic Foundation’s social outreach grants, Selah’s Center – and other organizations like it – are able to meet real needs in the community in meaningful and sustainable ways. 

Together, we can continue changing the future for young women and men through Christ-like care and compassion. To get involved or learn more about the work of Selah’s Center of Hope, click here.

 *Name changed to protect privacy