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Pregnant and in shelter through COVID-19

Posted on August 28, 2020 in Success Story

Emily was staying at the YES Emergency Shelter in March of 2020, when COVID-19 became a threat to people living in Peterborough. She was 7 months pregnant.

A tough time as a kid

Emily came to the shelter for the first time when she was 16, directly from the care of CAS. She had grown up mostly in foster and group homes.

Throughout her childhood, there had never been a good fit for her with any of the families who cared for her. As a result, she never felt the security and safety that most of us feel as children.

This time, something was different

She stayed in shelter on and off over two years, but this time around, something was different. Emily was pregnant and she wanted to become a mom. Emily wanted to provide something to her child that she never had; a safe, warm, loving home.

Caela Latter is Emily’s outreach worker at YES. “I began to connect Emily with the resources in town that would help her have a safe pregnancy, birth, and post-partum experience. The younger a person is, the more difficult the healthcare system is to navigate,” says Caela.

Caela helped Emily make all the right appointments, and they attended those appointments together.

The onslaught of COVID-19

None of us expected the pandemic, and when it became a serious threat, we moved Emily, along with all the other families in the emergency shelter to a hotel in Peterborough.

At the hotel, Emily was able to maintain distance from her peers, so she could keep herself and her baby safe. Caela visited her frequently at the hotel, ensuring she had everything she needed. 

A little miracle

On May 8th at 10am at PRHC, 9lb baby Liam was born. Both Emily and baby were amazing. Caela got a call just as Emily went into labour, and by the time she arrived with a coffee for Dad, Liam had arrived.

Emily got to take Liam back to the hotel on Mother’s Day, and her eyes lit up when she began telling Caela about being a new mom.

“She’s doing everything right,” says Caela.  “She even started reading to Liam every day before going to sleep.”

Soon after Liam entered their lives, mama and baby were supported to find suitable housing. They moved out of the hotel and into a place all their own on June 15th, 2020.

Emily can do this, but will need help

Throughout her life, Emily has struggled. And life won’t be easier for her now that she has a baby. What Emily needs now, is even more support.

Emily is planning on going for her high school diploma this September. But she will need help getting the childcare necessary for her to accomplish that goal. She will also likely need help with food and basic supplies until she can get a job. Not to mention the mental health assistance that so many of us need as new moms.

These are the kinds of supports that YES is here to give Emily and Liam with your help. Emily is beginning motherhood, as a teen, after a tough childhood.  But we have every confidence in Emily, and know she will be a great mom to baby Liam. With help from us, and with help from you.

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