March 21, 2019
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This Chicago nonprofit is helping to break the cycle of poverty for young moms

Meet the finalists for the 2019 Renewal Awards, a program of The Atlantic and Allstate. Five winners will receive a $20,000 prize from Allstate.

Since 1983, New Moms has been helping young moms in Chicago find the stability and support they need to break the cycle of poverty. Photo courtesy of the organization

Editor’s note: Meet the finalists for 2019 The Renewal Awards. The annual program that honors nonprofits that are creatively solving problems in their communities is a project of The Atlantic and Allstate. This year, five winners each will receive a $20,000 prize from Allstate. Winners will be announced April 3 at The Renewal Summit in New York City. You can watch a live stream of the event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT, on our Facebook page.


Balancing a career and motherhood as a young woman can be both financially and emotionally challenging. The Chicago nonprofit New Moms was created to provide a helping hand during this transformational life moment. The organization strives to interrupt the cycle of poverty that many young moms can encounter and helps create strong families by providing them with the necessary tools and advice to succeed.

“New Moms is a place where young moms have the chance to write their own story,” Hilary Morreale, the organization’s institutional giving manager, told us via email. “With the support of a passionate, encouraging team, each mom forms her own goals that lead to the future she wants to create for her children.”

In 1983, Ellen Kogstad Thompson, New Moms’s founder, wanted to address the growing problem in her neighborhood—teen moms who did not have a permanent home and did not have a way to fund the expenses of their newborn baby. Since then, New Moms has helped numerous women find a healthy lifestyle for their newborns by surrounding these families with a sense of stability through job training, economic independence, and stable housing.

[ Read: Meet the finalists for the 2019 Renewal Awards ]

With help from the organization, 80 moms secured permanent jobs last year. New Moms also provides stable housing through its two-year transitional housing program for homeless mothers ages 18-24 and their children. The facility can house up to 40 moms and up to 50 children at a time.

“As young moms gain skills and begin to accomplish goals, they gain confidence and belief in their abilities to open doors for themselves and their children,” Morreale told us. “For young moms, New Moms is a place where possibility can become reality.”

New Mom hopes to continue to impact the lives of low-income families by helping young moms set and achieve their personal and professional goals, all while maintaining a healthy environment for their newborns.

“We know we’ve succeeded when young moms realize their potential to reach significant milestones—welcoming healthy babies, advancing their education, getting first jobs, moving into first apartments, and children starting school,” Morreale said. “These milestones show us that our services have helped young moms to develop lifelong skills, and helped form thriving, strong families.”

Follow New Moms on Twitter @newmomschicago. Donate to the nonprofit here.

Danielle Moskowitz

Danielle Moskowitz

Danielle Moskowitz is a contributor to The Renewal Project.