‘New Moms helped to open doors for me – doors to be a great mom. Everything I was looking for New Moms offered it at some time.’
Olivia was homeless and staying in a shelter from the time she was 3 months pregnant until the night she gave birth to her baby girl, Giselle. She had been sleeping on friends’ couches trying to avoid living in a shelter. Her aunts told her that she had to go into a shelter because if she didn’t the state would never know that she needed help. “It was humbling to have to submit to the process… It was stressful to be pregnant and in a shelter. I didn’t want to bring my baby into that setting.” Olivia pressed on.
She was referred to New Moms for housing, but when she came to New Moms she learned about the family support program, which included prenatal services and the opportunity to have a doula. “The prenatal group was so interesting! So visual. Everything I needed to know and thought I knew was touched on.” She developed a close relationship with her New Moms’ doula, Luecendia, and felt very supported through her birth.
“She taught me so much and if I had a question about anything the doors were opened.” After giving birth, Olivia knew she had the support and resources she needed to take the next step. She had stable housing, support as she began parenting, and now she needed to look for income. “I didn’t want to get comfortable, I had to move to the next step.” She came back to New Moms to join the Job Training program.
“The Job Training program helped me grow in my interviewing skills. It helped be become more confident and learn to use what I thought was negative and see the positives.” She earned income through the paid, hands-on job training at New Moms’ social enterprise candle company, Bright Endeavors, where she crafted premium soy candles while practicing transferrable job skills. With classroom teaching blended throughout the program, the hands on experience was reinforced with opportunities to learn more about character development and the importance of living a life that would make her daughter proud.
“I want to be a loving, understanding type of mother and to be the best that I can be.” Olivia continues to express a great desire to keep learning in life and from her daughter. She sees the great benefit this experience has had on her daughter, “She will benefit because I benefitted from being at New Moms. New Moms allowed me to have financial stability and she will get to reap the fruits of that experience.”
Olivia was recently hired by New Moms and works on the front lines of service, helping young moms connect to the supports at New Moms.
Posted on February 19, 2018
New Moms (Chicago)
5317 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651
New Moms (Oak Park)
405 South Euclid Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
New Moms is proud to be a subgrantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) program and a member of REDF’s national portfolio.