THE HOUR NORWALK — Autumn Corley arrived at Malta House in early December and is working toward becoming a dental assistant while awaiting the birth of her baby in May.
“They’re trying to help you better your life,” Corley said of the services offered at Malta House.
Faye Cole, the mother of a 10-month-old baby, has resided at Malta House for about a year. She’s working to become a group fitness trainer and saving money to live on her own.
Malta House, a faith-based nonprofit organization that provides food, shelter, support services and independent living skills to homeless mothers and their children, is one of two recipient of proceeds from Norwalk’s 24th Annual Community Ball this month.
“We’re honored. It’s awesome,” said Claudia Nixon, director of programs at Malta House. “It’s always nice to be recognized for the work you do.”
The young mothers at Malta House take pride in their living quarters by decorating their rooms with artwork and photographs of their babies. While receiving on-site counseling and lessons on budgeting money and parental development, they cook their own meals and share in the upkeep of the facility.
Mayor Harry W. Rilling has chosen Family & Children’s Agency, a Norwalk nonprofit organization that has been in existence since 1942, as the other recipient of the ball proceeds.
The agency provides foster care, adoption, counseling and homeless services as well as home care for elderly persons living independently. On the other end of the age spectrum, the agency helps middle and high-school students through its ASPIRE After School Program at Norwalk Community College. Students get tutorial help with their schoolwork as well instruction on building one’s character and self-confidence.
Gypsy, a Norwalk middle school student, said her mathematics grade has risen dramatically during her three years in ASPIRE.
“I had an F in the class,” she said. “I had a tutor every day to help me and I finished the year with an A.”
Angelina, another local middle-schooler enrolled in the after-school program, said she and fellow classmates are working on lunar calendars as part of their science class.
The end goal of ASPIRE, according to Manager of Youth Development Amy Jefferies, is to prepare the students for adult life.
Robert F. Cashel, Family & Children’s Agency president & CEO, is thrilled that the organization has been chosen to receive proceeds from this year’s community ball.
“This is coming into January — our 75th anniversary celebration as a nonprofit here in Norwalk,” Cashel said. “The timing could not be better to because it allows us not only use the proceeds of the event but also to publicize the agency.”