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“Hale House” Founder Clara McBride-Hale: Cared for Thousands of Drug Addicted and Unwanted Children

Written by Jae Jones

was born April 1, 1905 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She is known as “Mother Hale”, and was an American humanitarian who founded the Center. The Hale House Center was a home for unwanted children and children who were born addicted to drugs.

Hale’s father died when she was just an infant. Her mother was left to care for her and her siblings. Clara married after high school and moved to New York City where she studied business administration, and also worked as a domestic. Her husband died when she was 27 and left her with three children, one whom she had adopted. By this time the Great Depression was going on, and she struggled to take care of her family. So, she cleaned houses, worked as a janitor, day and night in order to make ends meet. The work began to take a toll on her and she was not spending enough time with her children, so she came up with the idea to open her own home daycare.

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Hale began to care for children around the clock. Most of the children stayed with her during the week and went home on the weekends. She later became a foster parent and provided short-term and long-term care for children throughout the community.  Hale also found permanent homes for homeless children and taught parents essential parenting skills. She later became a foster mother and took in 7-8 children at a time. By 1947-1968, she was taking care of 40 foster children.

Hale became known for her work across the country. Although, she started her business as a way to provide for her family, she had found her true calling in life. Later, Hale purchased a larger building, a 5-story home, so she would have more space and room. In 1975, she obtained her license in child-care and officially opened up what became known as the “Hale House.”

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 raised the children as if they were her own, and once they were healthy she would help find families interested in adoption. Hale eventually helped over 1,000 drug addicted babies and children. She also took in children who were born with HIV, and children who were from parents who had died of AIDS. Hale described caring for children as simple; “hold them, rock them, love them, and tell them how great they are. She died of complications of a stroke December 18, 1992 at the age of 87.

 

source: AIDS Hero – Clara Hale

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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