The-Next-Step-to-Success Project for vulnerable young moms
Soumise par :
Elizabeth House Foundation
2231 Marlowe, Montreal Quebec H4A 3L4
Idée créée le:
le 12 octobre, 2011
Gros budget (100 000 $ à 150 000 $)
A pregnant adolescent who has only known a dysfunctional family, if she has known one at all, who has never known success in anything she has attempted, who has no real confidence in herself and her abilities but who is determined to keep her baby, to care for it well and to shower it with the love she never felt herself, will need a lot of help if she is to be successful in turning these aspirations into a reality that will support that dream and provide her child with the opportunities it will need to develop to its potential.
That is what Elizabeth House does. It provides young pregnant mothers with information, learning opportunities and emotional support to develop their parenting and life skills and their capacity to become good parents to their children. It is not an easy job – for the people at Elizabeth House or for these young women. After all, while they are or are about to become new mothers, they are still teenagers… and usually immature ones at that. Within the structured environment of the Elizabeth House residential program, their ups are reinforced and their downs are buffered. Their learning is supported and encouraged. But at some point, it is time to spread their wings and fly on their own. Remember now, we are dealing with very young women who do not have positive support networks, who are very much on their own, except for their peers who are very much like them. The major difference is that these young women are now young vulnerable mothers who tenaciously hang on to the dream and desire to provide for their child.
Experience has shown that all too often, upon leaving the Elizabeth House residence and moving on their own into the community, these young women encounter challenges and difficulties that become insurmountable without the caring and supportive environment they knew in the Residential program. So they do not thrive; they do not succeed; they risk loosing their children and failing yet again. What they need is an interim step; a place where they can be on their own, responsible for themselves and their babies, a place where they can put into practice what they have learned, while still having access to supportive staff and positive peer support. They need what is known as a supervised apartment.
Elizabeth House is a member of a family of organizations committed to working collaboratively and in a complementary manner to help these vulnerable young parents and their children. The Elizabeth House Foundation exists to raise funds to support the two service organizations. On Our Own provides supportive programs along with subsidized transitional housing for up to three years to allow vulnerable young parents to consolidate their parenting skills, develop life skills and become launched as capable parents whose children will have opportunities like all other kids have. There is presently a missing component in the continuum of services that are available; a supervised apartment.
The 18 person capacity Elizabeth House residential program presently operates out of a 4-plex. The basement contains laundry facilities, a family room and meeting facilities. The main floor is divided into two distinct but connected areas: one side contains the kitchen and dining room, the residential staff office and a small meeting room; the other side houses the administrative offices. The residents have privacy on the second floor where their bedrooms and the living room are found. The Foundation owns a smaller duplex a half a block away from the Elizabeth House Residential program.
The-Next-Step-to–Success Project involves moving the administrative offices to the duplex half a block away and transforming the lower half of the 4-plex into an independent separate entrance two- family supervised apartment. A supervised apartment requires 24/7 staffing. This will be provided at no extra cost for many years to come by opening the door between the apartment and the lower floor of the residence at nights. The two young women sharing the apartment will do their own shopping, cooking and cleaning. They will pursue their personal vocational or educational goals and see to the care of their children, as if they were living independently in the community. But there will be two vital differences – they will experience positive peer support and they will have constant access to supportive staffs who know them and their particular needs.
To make this a reality, we need to make a onetime expenditure of about $250,000. A onetime donation of $150,000 from Aviva will set us on our way, ensuring our organization’s success in this project and ensuring the success during many years to come of many young teenage mothers who deserve the opportunity to provide their children with the same opportunities that most children have. Will you vote for us?