Humewood House
Resource centre for young pregnant & parenting women

A Lasting Legacy

Our legacy:From shame to empowerment

In 1912, there was no greater shame than being unwed and pregnant. When Humewood House first opened its doors – with the support of the local community, well-known Toronto families and the Anglican Church – it was known as a home for “unwed mothers”. Sometimes disowned by their families, these young women lived in shame and fear, often giving up their babies for adoption and never learning about the lives of their newborn children. Hidden away until giving birth, these women struggled to recover from their traumatic past.

Since 1912, Humewood House has provided refuge to nearly 5,000 women and their babies. Over the past century, Humewood House staff, volunteers and clients have borne witness to significant changes in social policy and women’s history.

Our work is just as important today, as modern challenges often make it difficult for mothers to succeed. While teen pregnancy rates have declined in Canada over the past 25 years, they continue to be a significant concern for socially and economically disadvantaged teens. Adolescent parents face many social, economic, educational and employment barriers but we know that education and counselling can make a world of difference – leading to positive parenting and life choices.

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