Clara Hale

Greatness Through Caring

In 1940, Mrs. Clara Hale learned that she could become a foster mother. During the next 25 years, she became "Mommy" Hale to over 40 children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

As problems associated with drug abuse exploded in the Harlem community, Mrs. Hale's family implored her to take action. Within six months, she had 22 babies of heroin-addicted women in her five-room apartment. Soon, she had helped establish a home for infants addicted before birth. It was the first--and only known program--in the U.S. designed to deal with infants born addicted to illegal drugs.

In 1975, Hale House became the "Center for the Promotion of Human Potential," a licensed voluntary childcare agency. At that time, it was the only black voluntary agency in the country.

"Mother" Hale had cared for over 500 children at Hale House. She was a nurturing, loving, comforting woman who genuinely cared about the future of these otherwise friendless children.

"You can, you know you can--I know you can!" were words spoken by a woman who has proven the endless capacity of the human spirit.

Clara Hale was a rare individual who had left her loving imprint on the lives of thousands.

Mother Hale died in 1993, a tragic loss to children. However, Lorraine Hale, Ph.D., who had worked side by side with her mother for 25 years, carried the mission onward.

Women's International Center dedicated the Living Legacy Awards to the memory of the great Clara Hale in 1993, Lorraine Hale accepted our dedication to her magnificent mother.

[ WIC Main Page | Biographies |