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Local haven for pregnant teens gains momentum

Couple at helm of Saving Grace Maternity Home helped Gaston mom

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Cindy and Skip Sorum are trying to start a nonprofit maternity home for pregnant teenage girls with nowhere else to go, hoping such a place will get them back on their feet. A Hillsboro couple’s dream of giving pregnant teenage girls a safe haven from abusive families, poverty and homelessness is closer to becoming a reality.

Cindy and Skip Sorum have been fundraising for more than a year to start Saving Grace Maternity Home. But while their end-of-year push for funds inched them closer to their goal, they are still short.

They were hoping to raise $150,000 to buy a Hillsboro house they have picked out and secure $6,000 in recurring monthly donations before Jan. 1. As of Jan. 4, they’ve raised more than $107,000 to put toward the home purchase through fundraisers and a gofundme.com campaign — as well as $4,000 in monthly pledges.

Hillsboro’s Community Services Grant Program, which gives money to local social service agencies gave them $3,000 in November. (See sidebar.) That money will be put toward the down payment and renovation of the house.

Last year, the News-Times interviewed Gaston resident Cassie Ashcraft, who credits the Sorums and their work with saving her and her baby’s life.

The Sorums used to work at Saint Child maternity home in Hillsboro, formerly known as House of Ruth, before it moved to Beaverton. Since the move, they’ve been trying to figure out a way to provide the same services in Hillsboro again for five girls and their babies at a time.

Saving Grace started out operating under the nonprofit West Valley Community Church, but the Sorums have since secured their own 501(c)3 nonprofit status.COURTESY PHOTO - This Hillsboro home will be transformed into Saving Grace Maternity Home if a Hillsboro couple can secure enough funding.

The home and the $6,000 a month will provide shelter, counseling, Bible study and parenting/life skills classes for young women who are kicked out of their homes when their parents find out they’re pregnant. Others are in abusive relationships, living in dysfunctional families or can’t make ends meet.

The Sorums have been getting inquiries every week from pregnant teens or friends and family members of girls in need, asking when Saving Grace will open.

The Sorums still need about $40,000 before they can buy the house they’ve picked out. The project will also require individuals, churches or organizations to commit to donating a portion of the still-needed $2,000 a month that will cover expenses.

In addition to monetary support, the Sorums need building supplies, an eight-passenger van and contractors who are willing to donate their time and expertise.

“We have a lot of faith,” Cindy Sorum said. “We feel like it will take care of itself.”

How to help

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Saving Grace Maternity Home, 21830 N.W. Cherry Lane, Hillsboro, OR 97124. The tax identification number is 47-4088854.