Laquanda was four months pregnant with her first child when she and her boyfriend broke up. At the time, she was living with the boyfriend’s mother and was asked to leave. She was unemployed and did not have family or friends to turn to for help. She began wandering the streets late last winter. Eventually she began sleeping at the Maywood Police Department. It is estimated that one in five women who are experiencing homelessness are pregnant at any given time, almost twice the rate of the general population.*
Laquanda was connected to our Family Support Specialists, who focus on the unique needs of families with minor children. They immediately began working with Laquanda, focusing first on housing. The specialist connected Laquanda to support for rent assistance and a security deposit. She was also linked to a parenting program that will provide skill building and support services throughout her daughter’s first three years. Our Community Health Nurse, began providing Laquanda with informational and physical support during pregnancy, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. Today, Laquanda is eagerly waiting to welcome her daughter in her new home later this month.
*Pregnant Women and Homelessness, Dr. Freda Haylett, Professor Suellen Murray, Dr. Juliet Watson, and Dr. Jacqui Theobald