Hungry, Pregnant teen Finds HBP Just in Time

Nearly 100% of young girls in HBP’s Teen Parent Empowerment Program are hungry or malnourished upon intake. When once these young moms enroll, they have more access to food so they can be healthy parents.

A good example is Alexus Parker, 19, who found HBP when she was 8 months’ pregnant – and just in time, as it turns out.

She had been living on the street hand to mouth, often going hungry because she could not find food. Her grandmother, Alexus’s only available relative, lives in a senior facility and could not house her.

24 Hours Without Food

Alexus and her daughter

Alexus and her daughter

Alexus’s pregnancy was high-risk. She had completed her high school degree and had started college classes but had been forced to drop out college because of pregnancy complications, some which worsen from lack of nutrition and homelessness. Not knowing what else to do or where to turn –  but desperate, knowing the baby’s birth was imminent – Alexus found HBP in a Google search. That very day she visited Perennial House. She had not eaten in 24 hours.

“They were so great to me,” says Alexus of the HBP staff. They gave her a hot meal and listened to her story.

Staff members discovered that Alexus had no place to live. As providence would have it, a Perennial House resident had just moved to independent housing a few days earlier. HBP screened Alexus and invited her to stay at Perennial House beginning the next day.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Alexus.

A Hot Meal and a Box of Food

When she moved in, HBP provided her with a box of food and personal items, including soap and a towel.

Alexus gave birth two weeks later; her baby has complications due to malnourishment and other factors, but both mother and child are now getting the medical care they need.  Alexus and her case worker have already created an Individual Care Plan to help her manage her food stamp, WIC and SNAP benefits and re-enroll in college.

What would have happened if Alexus had not found HBP in an online search  just in time? “I would have probably given birth outside on the street, and may have lost my baby,” she says. “HBP saved my daughter’s life – and mine, too.”

Alexus and her case manager have created a plan for her to complete her education once she and her baby have gained their strength.  If you or a teen you know is pregnant and needs support, contact HBP (202-396-2809) to learn about our Teen Parent Empowerment Program.