Caitlin’s* mom has been in jail since she was in middle school. Her dad hasn’t been in the picture since before that.
Caitlin went to live with her grandparents when her mom went to jail. She grew up with them, enjoying a close relationship. That is, until, when in high school, her grandparents were killed in a tragic car accident.
Caitlin was on her own from a very young age. She had no money and no home. So she sold or traded what she had, and did things she never thought she would do, to get by another night. She slept on friends’ couches for days or weeks at a time. Or sometimes she slept in a car, or a tent if she could find a place to put it.
Sometimes Caitlin had a safe place to stay. Sometimes she didn’t. After a couple years spent “couch surfing” or homeless, Caitlin found herself pregnant.
Caitlin’s life has not been easy.
And unfortunately, variations of this story are told again and again in our community. Children who grow up without the loving care of parents. Children who become teens who are on their own. Teens who are desperate. They are desperate just to get enough food to eat and a place to spend the night.
All three had stories of difficult lives and desperate times.
They turned to The Elizabeth House for a safe, nurturing home. A place where they know where their next meal is coming from. A place where they have shelter and margin to be able to care for their babies. And so much more.
At The Elizabeth House, a woman like Caitlin has an advocate. Someone who can help her navigate hurdles of finding housing, getting a resume together and finding a good job.
Caitlin will have someone walking alongside her to help her make a budget so she can get out of debt and start saving for future expenses.
She will learn how to care for herself and her child during pregnancy and beyond. Because she will have proper nutrition, her baby is more likely to be of a healthy birth weight and at lower risk for complications.
Caitlin will become emotionally and spiritually healthy. She will have someone love her and be proud of her accomplishments. Someone to cheer her on and be there for her. Someone to share the love of Jesus with her and give her opportunities to discover Jesus for herself.
Caitlin will be able to talk about her day over dinner with others at The Elizabeth House. She will experience the joy of cooking a meal for herself and others and enjoy what others have prepared.
Caitlin will learn to be a mom. She will be ready to begin a new chapter in her life. And Caitlin’s baby will have a bright future.
* Name changed to protect privacy
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