My name is W.D.C. I live inside my 17-year-old mother’s wounded womb … and she lives on the streets. Before I came along, my mommy used to get help from the system. But they said my mommy’s accusations were not true and they left her with her abusers. The abuse kept going for eight more years until I made my way inside her. That’s when she found the courage to leave.
My mom is getting help at HBP
My mom comes to a place called Healthy Babies Project. They help her look for a place to live. They let her take a shower and give her food. They also introduced her to the staff at the Family Health and Birth Center, so she can get something they call prenatal care. Neither one of us is really sure what that means, but the Healthy Babies staff says it’s really important to help me to get a good start in life.
The Healthy Babies Project people even assigned a Family Support Worker for my mommy. The worker is a really nice lady who is smart, too. She visits my mommy, checks on her progress, and even talks to me. No one thinks I can hear but I listen to what’s going on.
There’s nowhere to live
I’ve overheard my mommy talking to her friends. They say that the people at the shelter sometimes treat them like they’re adults and forget that they’re kids. My mommy says that although she’s a mommy, she’s technically not an adult. She would never tell anyone, but she’s scared.
Right now, even though it’s the middle of winter and my mommy struggles, she always rubs her belly and tells me that everything will be all right. I think she’s trying to prepare me, just in case we have to live in a shelter or worse yet, on the streets. I know she’ll try to do her best for me.
I wish they could hear me
I’m trying to get the attention of the “big people.” Maybe because I don’t vote, and neither can my mommy right now, but I feel like my screams get muffled by the voices of “big” people. I want to tell the mayor and the city council about my mommy and so many of her friends who live in fear but have no where to go because the shelters are full. But no one can see me. It seems like no one wants to hear me, either.
But maybe you can help! Will you please help me to find a safe place for my mother to lay her head before I come out into this world? Right now, wherever my mommy is, she sure is cold. I hope it’s not like that when I am born. But no one can see me or hear me. I hope you can.
*W.D.C.’s mother is a member of the new TPEP class at Healthy Babies Project. HBP News will chronicle her story over the next several months. Please speak out for W.D.C. and her mother. Contact District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. City Council and request that they restore funding for Healthy Babies Project.