South Dallas-based Viola’s House has expanded services for expectant teen mothers with the opening of its Baby Benefit Boutique on March 8. The upscale thrift store provides baby and toddler clothing, accessories and more at no charge.
Rather than paying out-of-pocket for items, mothers receive shopping vouchers in exchange for completing parenting and pregnancy classes. The vouchers can be used at the Baby Benefit Boutique, which was intentionally designed to provide an atmosphere where mothers of children younger than 3 can shop with dignity and feel good about their shopping experience.
Viola’s House provides clients housing, food and clothing, as well as life skills training in financial literacy, parenting and counseling. The emergency placement shelter formed in 2008 for mothers ages 12-21 in the Dallas area faced with an unplanned pregnancy and who may be at-risk for homelessness. In February, Viola’s House received a $25,000 donation from the Mavs Foundation to support its Teen Maternity Program.
Last year, Viola’s House served more than 3,800 mothers who visited the home more than 13,000 times. The agency created Baby Benefit Boutique after seeing increased need during the COVID-19 pandemic for resources such as diapers, formula and wipes. Organizers recognized that if families couldn’t afford such basic necessities, they also could not afford clothing.
Baby Benefit Boutique offers four classes per-week, Tuesday through Friday, for moms to earn Baby Bucks. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish. Located at 3647 Holmes Street in Dallas, the Boutique includes a 1,500 sq. ft. warehouse where baby and toddler furniture is available. Mothers can take additional classes to obtain vouchers for the large furniture items.
The store is open for shopping Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.