Ballenger Highway

Mothers of Joy Institute for Parenting and Family Wellness provides safe space for families

FLINT, Michigan — On Friday, Jan. 26, Mothers of Joy Institute for Parenting and Family Wellness, Inc. held its grand opening at the Metro Community Development (1164 Robert T. Longway, Suite D & E) in Flint.

An array of community members were present to share in the occasion from newly-expecting moms and medical professionals to family members and special friends of Founder/Executive Director Shearese Stapleton.

The Flint native is an advocate for families with children of all abilities and ages. Her vision began over twenty years ago, in both personal and professional capacities, as a first-time mother and wife to an early childhood educator and case management trainee.

Stapleton has completed an array of certifications including a Child Development Associate (CDA) which is a nationally recognized credential for early childhood professionals. She is also currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree. She is a mother, pastor, entrepreneur, community partner, Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) coach, author, advocate, and mentor. 

Mothers of Joy Institute began in 2020 during the COVID-19 global pandemic to comfort adults and children during a highly stressful time. Stapleton stated, “At the beginning of COVID, I would pull into the hospital’s parking lot, stay in my car, and pray for hospital workers and patients.”

The nonprofit organization offers community members a new Family Safe Space at the Metro Community Development. According to the Mothers of Joy Institute’s Facebook post: “A safe space is where people can feel safe and express themselves freely without fear of judgment or prejudice like a calming corner, or an emotional space between parents and children.”

Calming gray walls, comfy animal blankets, a cozy room, and a peaceful environment are inviting ways to make participants feel safe upon entering the building. It is an opportunity for adults to sharpen their parenting skills by incorporating mindfulness, understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and utilizing best practice suggestions to assist with raising healthy children.

Parenthood can have its successes and challenges but Mothers of Joy Institute is a family resource center for community members to increase and strategize their problem-solving skills with children. Family Safe Space is a promoter of the new Rx Kids program for families who currently reside in the city of Flint. 

Mothers of Joy Institute offered an opportunity to educate community members about the purpose of safe spaces for both adults and children at the Gloria Coles Flint Public Library in December 2023. Stapleton's presentation included an overview of safe spaces, available resources, and community partnerships that made this journey possible.

To learn more about Mothers of Joy Institute for Parenting Wellness, Inc. as well as its Family Safe Space and future classes, visit:
Also, find the organization on Facebook here
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.