Homespace Provides Comfort to Young Mothers

August 7, 2012 Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 7:37 PM EDT

By WKBW News

August 7, 2012 Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 7:37 PM EDT

(Buffalo,NY) A Buffalo charity is on a mission to help young mothers.

Tuesday evening, HomeSpace is hoping the community can help continue its work.

Ji'Rea Martin is speaking out on behalf of the organization. Two years ago she was a young mom with no place to call home.

The teen runaway and her newborn baby were not allowed back in with her father, so the 17-year-old girl came to HomeSpace.

Ji'Rea says "they gave me strength to do things better. They gave me good advice."

Ji'Rea adds that back then, she did not want to go to school. Raising a baby alone was frustrating.

However, HomeSpace pushed her to get an education and strive for independence.

Now she's getting ready to graduate high school and works at Buffalo General Hospital.

Ji'Rea and her boyfriend are even house-hunting. She wants to be a massage therapist and a lawyer. Her number one goal is to be a role model for two-year-old Danielle. Ji'Rea says this confidence comes from HomeSpace.

She explains "you actually meet knew people. I think living here made me a better mom. I wouldn't have gone to school otherwise."

In the last 18 years, Kevin McGriff, the program director at HomeSpace, says the organization has helped hundreds of young mothers between the ages of 14 and 21 that are in the foster system.

McGriff explains these girls have histories with ave physical abuse, some mental abuse, some with parenting difficulties at home."

The HomeSpace staff wants these girls to feel safe and create a stable environment for their babies.

McGriff explains they want "a safe environment that's caring and loving -- implementing all those things that every parent in the world wants to give their child."

Right now HomeSpace houses 36 girls and babies, but there are still families waiting to move in.

As the group looks to grow, it needs the community's support.

A benefit on Tuesday night at Fat Bob's in Buffalo on 41 Virginia Place is raising money for the organization.

The event lasts from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.