CLEVELAND (WJW) — Life is returning to one corner of Cudell thanks in part, to five women.

“We all came from different areas of Cleveland. We all have different experiences, backgrounds, but we all had one thing in common: we wanted to help women and children,” said Julie Mallett.

Mallett is one of five founding members of Sisters Haven, a faith-based non-profit that provides safe and supportive housing for pregnant women and children in need.

While researching, the founders discovered a lack of options for unhoused pregnant women on Cleveland’s westside.

“We’d like to keep women near, you know, where they grew up, where there used to be, where they know the bus routes, where they have a job or their have family, right? We don’t want to completely uproot them and take them across town,” said Mallett.

A house that is just steps away from Cudell Recreation Center is what Sisters Haven hopes will be the first of many. Soon, it will double in size, with renovations creating seven rooms for unhoused pregnant women and their child.

“In the basement, we will have storage area for the women, lockers for their items, a computer area and some living space, and the second floor will have a large kitchen, a couple offices, the bedroom and the front family room or social room,” said Mallett. “Then we go upstairs. There’s a laundry room, there’s two bathrooms and all the bedrooms.”

Once complete, the house will be a space for babies to grow and their mothers to develop new skills.

“So, we are going to focus on four main areas: mental health, physical health, they will be able to do either education or job career training, and we’ll also tap into the faith part of it for them,” said Yvonne Murchison, co-founder of Sisters Haven.

By partnering with community organizations, local doulas, and Tri-C, Sisters Haven hopes to impact infant mortality rates and help mothers transition out of the home, likely when their child is about nine months old.

“It’s so much that goes into parenthood. You have your ups and your downs. So, having a supportive, safe housing during that time is for me; I believe that that’s a critical part. It’s crucial,” said Murchison.

Sisters Haven staff say this project is God-led.

In fact, a pastor prayed over Yvonne and another founder Shena, that someone would give them a house. A year later, they found that the same week the pastor prayed, the church next door discovered they couldn’t tear down the house.

Instead, the church began a search for a non-profit to gift it to.

“So, we were gifted the house, and since then, we have made connections with great companies and donors that have been not only, donating money, but resources,” said Mallett.

Mallett said volunteers from Inspection Tech and AMHigley helped gut the home down to the studs.

They’ve also been gifted labor from the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, but with construction set to begin in a few weeks, Sisters Haven still has a need.

“We’re looking for a contractor, or potentially a builder, that would be willing to bring some of this all together and finish things that need to be done. There’s a lot that goes into building a house,” said Mallett.

If you or someone who know has building experience and would like to get involved, contact Sisters Haven through their website.