Shawnte’s Story


Washington Examiner: ‘Shifted My Whole Life’: Two Virginia Mothers Reflect on How Maternity Homes Saved Them and Their Children

Photo Credit: Washington Examiner

Now a mother of five girls living in Washington, D.C., Mallory works as part of the mental health outreach team at Pathways to Housing D.C., an organization seeking to end homelessness. She said she devotes her life to bringing people the thing she received at Mary’s Shelter: love.

“Sometimes, you get put into this box that when you have children, your life is supposed to stop, or that when you have children, things get hard, and you can’t accomplish the things that you want to accomplish in life,” she said. “And just being around Miss Kathleen and Mary’s Shelter … it just gives you a different perspective on life and how to raise your children and how to love others, and how to love yourself.”

As a mother, Mallory said she promised herself she would be present and healthy for her children, something her biological mother did not do.

“There were times when I didn’t feel like there was a purpose or like I had a reason to be here,” Mallory said. “So I got pregnant with my oldest, and when I had her, I was just like, ‘Wow. This is really what love is.’ It changed my life.”

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CBS News: Shelter Aims to Help Underserved Pregnant People Find Stability: ‘We Turn No One Away”

Photo Credit: CBS Mornings

In 2014 Shawnte Mallory, then a mother of two, lost her job and struggled to pay rent. When she became pregnant again, she reluctantly decided to get an abortion, citing her lack of motivation at the time.

“It wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford. “It was just at the moment. It was what everybody was telling me to do. So I felt like that was really my only option.”

Then she discovered Mary’s Shelter: a faith-based social service agency that aims to help underserved youth, pregnant people and women find stability. With funding from private donors and fundraising events, the shelter provides fully furnished group housing and resources to try and help clients and their children get back on their feet for up to three years.

Since using the shelter’s services, Mallory, now 31, has five daughters, studies theology and works as a peer recovery coach helping people who struggle with addiction and trauma.

“It’s changed my life,” she said regarding Mary’s Shelter. “It gave me a new start. I didn’t have to give up or get rid of a child that I knew I wanted just because things got hard. I didn’t have a support system.”

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Fox News: Maternity Homes across the Country Give Women the Courage to Become Mothers

Shawnte Mallory is the mother of five children and when she showed up at Mary’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, she didn’t have a job or a car and was about to be evicted. When she was about to have her third child, the baby’s father, who was involved and excited at first, ultimately asked her to have an abortion. 

“I really didn’t know what to do,” she told Fox News Digital. “I had just lost my job, just losing everything, I was falling behind on rent, just lost my vehicle, so at the time, having an abortion sounded like a good idea. But still, in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to have an abortion.”

She ultimately ended up a Mary’s Shelter, where she gave birth to her third child.

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