CLARA HALE

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Clara Hale, also known as Mother Hale, she founded the Hale House Center, a home for unwanted children and children born addicted to drugs. It all started when Clara's daughter, Lorraine, brought a mother and child who were addicted to drugs home. Inspired, she got a license as a child care facility in 1970 at the age of 65. Until her death in 1992, she took in addicted children and raise as if they were her own. As they grew older and got better, Clara would return them to their now-sober parents or find them homes with new families, if necessary.

Hale was living in Harlem, New York, where she retired from working as a domestic and started her work by beginning to help addicted children in 1969. Although Hale had originally opened her house as a way of making a living, it eventually led her to find her life calling. She took babies addicted to heroin into her home, and within months, she was caring for 22 infants. Hale became known for the work she did and became known as a mother to those who did not have one. At the age of 65 is when Hale began to take children in who were born addicted to their mother's drug habits during pregnancy.

This started in 1969 when Clara Hale's biological daughter, Lorraine, brought a mother and child who were addicted to drugs to Hale's home. She later got a home license as a "child care facility" in 1970, called the Hale House. A few years later Hale purchased a larger building, a "5 story home so there could be more space and more room to fit more" and in 1975 she was able to attain a license in child-care. It was officially known as Hale House. After that time, Hale devoted her life to caring for needy children. She took in children, free of charge, who were addicted to drugs and helped them through their addictive periods. She would raise the children as if they were her own and once they were healthy she would help to find families interested in adoption. She took it upon herself to make sure the families were a correct fit and even in some cases turned families down if she thought they could not provide a good enough home for the child. She eventually helped over 1,000 drug addicted babies and young children who were born addicted to drugs, children born with HIV, and children whose parents had died of AIDS.  It was simple, she said; "hold them, rock them, love them and tell them how great they are."

 

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