Alley’s House opened in 1997 with the goal of making a positive generational, economic, and social impact for teen mothers. Alley’s House is a nonprofit organization that offers multiple holistic resources to teen mothers looking to transform their own lives and improve their children’s future. According to Alley’s House’s administration, an estimated 1,500 mothers and their children have been helped in one form or another since its inception. The mothers who come to Alley’s House receive a nine- to twelve-month, one-on-one experience tailored to their needs.
One of the most successful programs at Alley’s House is its GED program. The program offers teen mothers tutoring services in all four subject components of the GED testing and can have up to 12 mothers enrolled in the program at any given time. Along with providing tutors, Alley’s House also provides the mothers with nurturing childcare while they are in the tutoring or other sessions. Upon completion of the GED tutoring program and when the mothers are ready for testing, Alley’s House covers the expenses for each subject test. Donations fully fund this program and all other services at Alley’s House.
Along with providing the GED program, Alley’s House provides many emotional support services such as counseling, mentorship programs, and emotional wellness workshops. At Alley’s House, the staff is equipped and knowledgeable in both the physical and emotional needs of teen mothers. The Mentor for Young Moms program is a yearlong program that meets twice a month. The goal of this program is to provide mentorship to the mothers and instill accountability.
Alley’s House not only works to meet the emotional needs of the mothers it serves, but also works to meet their physical needs. In an interview, Executive Director Brenna Wriston stressed that the mothers face extreme food and transportation insecurity. Through generous donations, Alley’s House is able to provide them some security. Many of the mothers are committed to the programs they are enrolled in at Alley’s House, but they struggle with obtaining outside food and transportation services. Alley’s House helps to alleviate this stress by providing DART passes and providing mothers with food, allowing the mothers relief in these areas of need.
Wriston emphasized the importance of the available services in that when someone comes to Alley’s House, “you’re not just obtaining a GED. You are getting so much more: social needs and case management.” When asked what one thing people needed to know most about Alley’s House, Wriston said that people need to understand the challenges that teenage mothers go through. At Alley’s House, teen mothers challenge themselves beyond just the normal hurdles of being teen mothers by also challenging themselves to complete the programs they are in. They gain a “special grit” at Alley’s House as they build relationships and gain support from the other mothers. Alley’s House is not just an organization providing services, it is a refuge where teenage mothers can improve their own lives provide a better future for their children.
Wriston, Brenna. Interview by Kathryn Gracie Ruano. Personal Interview. Dallas TX, February 22, 2019.