Our team works together to get Shirley and her baby the care and support they need

Shirley came looking for a bed on a cold night accompanied by Vancouver Police Victims Services Unit. She was very visibly pregnant, and scared. She told us, that she came across the country with her boyfriend, the father of the baby she was carrying, looking for a new start.  Shirley told us that she and her boyfriend were staying at the boyfriend’s mother house and she knew right when they arrived that it was not a safe place to be. There was drinking and partying going on and people were coming and going at all times of the day and night.

Their plan was for her boyfriend to find a job as soon as possible and for the two of them to get a place, however, after only a few days of arriving in Vancouver, her boyfriend relapsed into his own drinking and drug addiction, the two of them had a fight that was turning physical, the neighbors called the police. Shirley was in a new city, without any friends and support, and the baby due any day. She told us she grew up in foster care, and that she was afraid her own baby would be taken from her.

We took Shirley into our Crisis Program and our entire team sprang into action. A community support worker escorted Shirley to a clinic for prenatal checkup and to the hospital for an ultrasound. We connected her with a Social Worker and assisted her with applying for Income Assistance.  We referred her to the Youth Pregnancy and Parenting Program, connected her with a doula and helped her secure a spot in a supported housing program for pregnant mothers. She would receive child care, parental support and counselling for up to one year after the baby is born.

It was great to see Shirley get the care she needed. With support and positivity around her, Shirley started to relax, and looked forward to her birthing process, instead of being scared and alone. She started to smile and look forward to the future for herself and her child.

It was heartwarming to see how the other youth doted on Shirley and supported her during this time.  Although we do have pregnant moms in the Crisis Program on occasion, never did we have one so close to giving birth and the excitement was growing. Every day we came in for our shift, the first question we asked was: did Shirley have her baby yet?

After her baby was born, Shirley called us – she had a healthy, strapping baby boy. She moved into her supportive housing from the hospital, and sent a card complete with a baby picture and thanked us for being there for both of them when no one else was.  A few months later, during the summer, she even came to visit us with and last time we heard, she and her baby are both doing great.

You can make sure more youth just like Shirley get the support the need. Click here to donate now. 

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