Mother Hale

Clara Hale

Clara McBride Hale (April 1, 1905December 18, 1992), aka Mother Hale, was an African-American humanitarian who founded Hale House, a home for unwanted children.


Clara married shortly after high school and had two children, Nathan and Lorraine. In 1933, her husband died from cancer, and Hale struggled to support her children through the Great Depression. During that time, she also began to find homes for homeless children and used her home as a day care for other struggling parents. She later became a foster parent.

In 1969, Lorraine, who is Clara's biological daughter, brought a mother and child who were addicted to drugs to Hale's home. Hale housed the pair, and Lorraine offered to pay their expenses. A few years later, Hale purchased a larger building and in 1975, the house gained child-care licensure, and was officially known as Hale House. After that time, Hale devoted her life to caring for needy children, including children who were born addicted to drugs, children born with HIV, and children whose parents had died of AIDS.

After her death in 1992, Hale's work was continued by her daughter. Although the younger Hale left Hale House in 2001, the house continues to operate.



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