Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Assisting Young Mothers
The Assisting Young Mothers program (AYM) provides housing, life skills training, parenting skills training, case management, and mental health services to pregnant and parenting young mothers. Mothers who are homeless and have no place else to go are able to finally give their children – and themselves – a safe and secure place to live and learn the skills needed to become independent and self-supporting.
One important component of the AYM program is helping young mothers develop the life skills they need to live independently. Through structured groups and informal interactions, residents learn skills ranging from budgeting to preparing nutritional meals for themselves and their children to addressing an envelope. For many moms in the program, this is the first time they have been able to learn many things that we might take for granted. With staff, interns, and volunteers, residents come in contact with a variety of positive role models who are able to answer questions and exhibit positive parenting and life skills for residents. One recent resident who graduated the program returned and told staff that she had learned so much from the program that it had saved her daughter’s life. Before entering the program, she had not been aware that certain behaviors or actions were putting her baby at risk. Since graduating the program, she has kept in contact with staff while living in her own apartment with her daughter and working full-time. Most recently, she visited the program to tell staff how much money she had saved and that she wanted to continue to “make us proud” of her.