Bagwashi Circles

BHA is looking for people who want to make a difference in the lives of homeless single moms and their families.

When a family comes to BHA, we evaluate the strength and reliability of their support network. Some of our families have friends and family they can rely on; others have relationships with people they see as unreliable or unstable. One of our goals at BHA is to help them increase their Social Capital.

Just as our economic capital can provide more or less financial strength, so our relationships (i.e. “social capital”) can offer us a relative amount of stability and growth. When we can rely on those around us, we have greater potential to reach our goals, which is our hope for the women who come to BHA. For this reason, we developed Bagwashi Circles. Bagwashi (bah-GWAH-shee) is an African word meaning “those who help one another” and is closely related to the word for “family.”

Our Bagwashi volunteers serve as friends and a support system to single moms transitioning from homelessness to wholeness, and often continue the relationship even after the participant has graduated from our program. There are two ways you can get involved in our Bagwashi Circle initiative:

  1. As a Relationship Mentor: You can develop a specific, one-on-one mentoring relationship with a mother who needs help with parenting skills, or managing her finances, or living a healthy lifestyle. Through a warm and supportive relationship, you can become a special friend whose compassion and emotional support help her to escape the cycle of poverty and homelessness. To do so, become a BHA Relationship Mentor!
  2. As a Support Volunteer: Or, you can donate your time and talents to help any of our participant families from time to time with transportation, baby-sitting, tutoring, job search aid, etc. If you like to help with specific tasks, our mothers need you! Become a BHA Support Volunteer!

Either way you choose to support one or more of BHA’s homeless mothers, you will reap the rewards of helping her to become self-reliant and raise children who are likely to follow her example in achieving independence.

BHA offers our volunteers training and support to make your experience with our mothers satisfying and successful. Our mentoring program is carefully structured to make it rewarding for volunteers and our mothers alike.

How to Get Involved
To learn more about volunteering for BHA’s Bagwashi Circle initiative, contact Marilyn Bellesfield, Program Director, at 717.233.6016 or online.

Contact Marilyn Bellesfield