Homeless Pregnant Teen Mom Gets Support, Housing to Rebuild Her Life

By Charlene S.

My name is Charlene and I am a teen mom. I could have been a statistic, struggling to survive with my child. But I am not – thanks to incredible people at an amazing organization called Healthy Babies Project.

Charlene's baby Michael

My baby Michael

Last year when I discovered I was pregnant, my boyfriend (and father of my unborn child) left me. Together with my 3-year-old, I was homeless.

A family friend connected me to Healthy Babies Project. I am so grateful she did. Healthy Babies Project and its staff have given me the opportunity to rebuild my life!

This organization truly cares about pregnant women and their children. I had been devastated by disappointment after disappointment: homelessness … threats and harassment from my ex … a disinterested family …. I had nowhere to turn.

Relief — Disappointment — and Hope

So you can imagine my excitement and relief when I met with the people at Healthy Babies Project and discovered there was an opening at Perennial Transitional House, their transitional housing for homeless pregnant teenagers.

Yet my hopes were soon dashed. I could not stay at Perennial House with both of my children. I faced an agonizing decision: I could continue being homeless after the birth of my new baby or I could enroll as a resident of Perennial House and find temporary housing for one of my children. I made the decision to find temporary placement for my oldest child with his father.

But that scenario didn’t work out.  After making such a heartbreaking decision, I was devastated.  But like they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

Even though Healthy Babies Project could not offer me housing because I already had a toddler, nevertheless my HBP case manager worked and worked with me – and found a place in another transitional living program where my little family could be together.

Since then, I’ve enrolled in classes to get my GED. I plan to go on to get a nursing degree. And this past winter, I had a healthy baby boy.

I struggled with decisions about my housing, but now I see that all the decisions that were made were in my best interest.  I would like to thank Healthy Babies Project and the opportunity to rebuild my life.  With continued support and hard work, I now feel confident I can achieve my goals and raise my two sons well!

At-risk pregnant D.C. residents can get support from Healthy Babies Project. Find out more.

*Names changed for confidentiality