Maggie's Place moved into its expanded offices Jan. 15.  (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Maggie’s Place moved into its expanded offices Jan. 15. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

The move wasn’t far enough to rent a truck or even pack a car, but the trek from the back of the Fiat House property of Maggie’s Place to the front was well worth it.

The Jan. 15 move from temporary to permanent office spaces — nearly two-and-a-half times the size — provided adequate office space for administrative efforts of Maggie’s Place. The non-profit oversees three houses of hospitality for pregnant women and their babies in the Valley and a fourth in Ohio. A new property in Mesa should join the network sometime this year.

Maggie’s Place has housed some 635 mothers since it opened in 2000 with many still living in the Valley and receiving support by way of bus passes, financial planning and job development sessions.

The move within their property near 30th Street and Indian School Road means Maggie’s Place finally has training and meeting rooms equipped to launch a formal alumnae outreach program.

Roseann Dennery said classes to prepare for job interviews, CPR certification and a food handler’s card will help increase a mom’s marketability. Current and alumnae moms interested in the Maggie’s Thrift Job Training Program can also meet on-site. A nearby room will allow their little ones to safely play or nap.

Laura Magruder, executive director, is excited for the changes ahead, especially because the previous space was “pushing the envelope.”

Staff had to take turns if they needed to rotate their own chair and had to move their chair out of the way to access a filing cabinet. Now, there is separate office space for leadership, finance and development to name a few. There’s also a lending library with anything from fiction to biography to Scripture, reference and personal enrichment and crafts.

A formal lobby welcomes visitors with bathrooms, a kitchen and even laundry facilities close by. Backyard space will bring house gatherings and community events on site with plenty of space for children to explore.

SMART Boards are coming and a dedicated computer in the lobby equipped with resume software will allow moms and alumnae to apply for jobs. Magruder is eager to see the space become a true Maggie’s Place hub, a vision shared by Mary Peterson, her predecessor.

“The building is a community center for the mothers of Maggie’s Place — a place to drop by and say hi and a hub for classes and celebrations,” Peterson said. “It is a space to build and maintain the network of relations that was begun in the home environment and a physical reminder that we are walking with the moms and their families for the long haul.”

Magruder is especially eager to do more interactive work with the house in Ohio. She explained the possibility of using Skype or a similar live feed for them to join in training sessions.

A formal grand opening of their new building is planned for February.