…so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children. – Titus 2:4 It was that very verse that woke Mary Yaw in the middle of the night in 1997. Mary had been divorced since 1992, and was looking for a new purpose in life. The verse that came to her was inspiring. Mary knew that she was being called to do something great; she just wasn’t sure how to put that message to work. Looking back on that night, she’s proud to say she has now put her mission to work with Titus 2 Homes. Titus 2 Homes is an organization founded to give women a second chance. Their mission is to empower women to live successfully and develop a better self image, to assist women as they integrate faith into their lives, and to encourage women to pursue education and skills needed for employment. And Mary knows firsthand how important this organization’s mission is. “From my own experience, I knew that there were very few affordable resources for women out there following a divorce. A single woman with children can often feel very lost. Titus 2 Homes wants to help those women regain their confidence and their ability to provide for their family,” Mary explains. In 2008, after spending years talking about the need she saw to provide a resource for single women, she was challenged by a friend to form a board of directors and make her dream a reality. And that challenge is all it took to get Mary motivated. She immediately formed a seven-member board of directors, and began planning for Titus 2 Homes. “I wanted to create a home where women can learn practical skills, as well as the skills to build strong relationships with their children,” Mary shares and she walks proudly around the first Titus Home, being built just outside Alexandria on Highway 27. “This will be a safe, affordable place for women to come and learn to live. We’ll provide them education on parenting, cooking and budgeting. But we’ll also help them find outside resources they need to make their goals a reality.” Mary reminds those who are interested in the organization that Titus 2 Homes are not a permanent home. “Our goal in taking these women in is that they will set goals for themselves, and as soon as they are ready to care for their family independently, they will move on to the next stage of their lives, more prepared than ever.” Titus 2 Homes operates completely debt-free, and relies on philanthropy and grants to keep their mission moving forward. In 2009, they took the first steps towards opening the first Titus Home by beginning to remodel the home that was donated to them. “We’ve stripped the house down to its studs, and are completing the remodel in small steps, as we receive the money to pay for the improvements.” No completion date has been set for the home, as Mary is adamant about keeping the organization out of debt, and completing only what they can afford. “It’s very important to me to keep this organization in the black so that we can have long-term success,” she shares. The first Titus Home will sit on six acres of land, and will offer walking paths, a fire pit, and many other safe, outdoor areas for children to enjoy while their mothers work through their training and goals. “We are helping these women plan for their new life. Many single mothers get stuck; stuck in anger, stuck in pain, and unable to move. We want to pull them out of that cycle and help them move on into a life that they and their children deserve,” Mary states proudly. On May 15, Titus 2 Homes will be hosting a Garage Sale Fundraiser at the site of the first Titus Home on Highway 27. The event is open to the community, and they welcome everyone to attend and support their mission. For more information on Titus 2 Homes and how you can support their mission, visit www.titus2homes.com or call Mary Yaw at 320-491-1851.
Energized to Empower