Updated: Jan 16
Read this interview with Ashley Moorefield about how she was inspired to start Serenity Living Transitional Home, and how this work continues today.
Here's how Ashley Moorefield, BS, was inspired to help young women and start Serenity Living Transitional Home. From Sheen Magazine, 2021.
Serenity Living Transitional Home (SLTH) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded by Ashley Moorefield. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, SLTH offers young women between the ages of 18- 23 a safe place to live and learn.
What inspired you to start Serenity Living Transitional Home?
After co-founding a youth mentoring program and running that program alongside my husband for 10 years, I began to see and hear more about youth homelessness. Previously, I was naive to this issue in Pittsburgh. I had assumed there were enough social services to meet the housing needs of youth.
However, while trying to help a young girl suffering from homelessness find housing, I noticed most housing programs were punitive. To get into these programs most youth had to have done something perceived as wrong. They had to either be sent there by a judge, under the supervision of a probation officer, truant from school, or worse. There were absolutely no programs for the young girl that may have been dealt a bad hand and was homeless due to no fault of her own. You know, “when bad things happen to good people”.
This broke my heart and motivated me to open Serenity Living Transitional Home.
The only problem was, I had no funding and no house to fulfill this big mission. After presenting my husband with all the facts on why this program was needed, I presented the extreme idea that we should give up our home, live with a friend for a while, and open SLTH in our family home. He immediately agreed to sacrifice the only home our children had ever known to allow me to open SLTH. My husband, Shawn Moorefield, totally got behind my dream and vision and within two months, the Moorefield family of four was living with a friend and self-funding SLTH.
What will the Serenity Living Transitional Home focus on for the rest of year?
We have two main focuses for 2021:
Continue to operate our current location that offers housing to four young women and provides life stabilization classes to 15-20 youth per month.
We currently have an extensive waiting list. Our organization owns a building that, once renovated, will allow us to triple the number of young women we serve. We plan to raise $100,000 in 2021 so that we can operate in this building in 2022. We hope to raise one third of this at our Gala Fundraiser scheduled for October 3, 2021.
What are the long-term goals of the Serenity Living Transitional Home?
The long-term goals are to:
Offer several housing locations for youth aging out of foster care.
Become the standard of care for other providers serving this population.
Start a graduate training program to help young people that complete the SLTH housing program start programs that prevent homelessness among their peers.
Who is the organization looking to impact?
SLTH is looking to impact the following:
Housing Program: Young women between the ages of 18 and 23 that are suffering from homelessness due to aging out of foster care or due to no direct fault of their own.
Life Stabilization Program: Youth (male and female) ages 16-23 at risk for homelessness in need of life skills to help them live a more stable and happy life.
How can we learn more about the foundation?