Hope house

Last updated 05:00 28/07/2013
Ron and Helen Falconer
Emma Allen
Hope family: Ron and Helen Falconer with dog Pipi moved to Blenheim on Tuesday to become the ’’parents’’ at Hope House, a home for teen mothers.

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The parents of Hope House Blenheim have literally gone from "kidding to kidding" with their new role.

Ron, 59, and Helen, 58, Falconer left their jobs working on a goat farm in Morrinsville in mid-July, just as the 600 goats in their care were kidding.

"We had our managing position there for a year, and now we're going from kids to kids," Mrs Falconer said.

The couple, who are in their 38th year of marriage, have already raised their own three children and a number of foster children, and are about to become parents again, potentially for hundreds of young girls who may pass through Hope House with their babies.

The couple were told about the home earlier this year and knew straight away it was something they were meant to be a part of.

"It was so obvious to us that we saw what we believe God was doing, creating a way forward, the tracks had to line up and they did; the timing was perfect," Mrs Falconer said.

Hope House will provide young mothers with a home for six months surrounding their pregnancy, from the three months before the birth of the babies, until three months after.

Mr and Mrs Falconer will act like the literal parents for the mothers, and grandparents of the babies, teaching the girls skills they will need for motherhood, homekeeping, budgeting, and also keeping them involved with education or training through home schooling. "It's not going to be institutional. It's going to be about family. We are going to be mum and dad and the girls will be our daughters and the kids our grandchildren."

Mr Falconer was hoping to get work in the agriculture sector by day and work as a support for Mrs Falconer by night, while also building relationships with the mothers.

"It's very much Helen's forte, I'm very much a support and mentor role," he said.

"We feel as if we are still young enough at heart to get on with and relate to teenagers," he added.

The pair, who have spent their whole married lives farming in the Waikato, said adjusting to an urban lifestyle would be their biggest challenge, as they had a lot of support with the home itself.

"We're not going into this alone, there's huge support with us which we are so thankful for," Mrs Falconer said.

There would be a nurse at the house, as well as a "force of volunteers", Mr Falconer said.

They added that The Bread of Life Trust, who were behind the house had also put in a tremendous amount of work.

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They were hoping to open Hope House in mid-August.

- The Marlborough Express

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