New Moms surrounds young moms and their children with all they need, to transform their lives.
Homelessness among pregnant & parenting youth is a critical issue. The need for services for this population is tremendous—according to the Illinois Dept. of Human Services, 40% of youth served by homeless providers in Illinois are pregnant or parenting. New Moms' housing program represents over 80% of beds in the Chicago for this population, and we are the only Chicago provider exclusively serving young moms and their kids. Our model is designed to meet the specific needs of young moms & their children. All services are delivered through a unique two generation model, acknowledging that the well-being of mothers and children are inextricably linked, and supporting both generations’ health, education, & well-being at once. To better meet our community's needs, we have opened a second housing facility in Oak Park--just a mile from our Chicago housing facility--adding 18 apartments for homeless families. This brand-new facility, which opened in March 2019, is now our suburban home base
We would use $25,000 to purchase a new-to-us van. We currently have one mini-bus, shared across three sites, but would love to have a van dedicated to our brand-new building, which would accommodate young moms and children in car seats. The van would be used to take participants to doctor’s appointments, transport families between program sites, pick up in-kind donations, support staff trainings, and provide transportation for family engagement outings—like the zoo, library, or children’s museum, in order to foster community among participant families, and encourage positive family relationships. We often receive free admission to such activities, but transportation can be a barrier to participant families. Because we share our bus between three locations, and many programs operate at the same time, we often face scheduling challenges. A new van would allow us more flexibility to transport families and take advantage of all Chicago has to offer.
This grant would have a lasting impact on our community—providing transportation to ~25 resident families annually, as well as the ~100 families we are serving in the near western suburbs each year. Having a van to help access healthcare appointments is tremendously helpful--allowing staff to accompany families for appointments, as requested by the young mom. This van would also help to foster lasting family memories. For young families living in crisis, positive family outings can be few and far between. Through family engagement outings, families visit some of our City’s beautiful, family-friendly destinations, like the zoo, libraries, museums, Navy Pier, and community events. Not only do families enjoy themselves and form lasting positive memories, but young moms also gain confidence in their abilities to take their kids on future family outings.