Michiana families look for help with new arrivals
Posted: Dec 5, 2008 09:10 PM
The struggling economy has more Michiana families looking for help as they await the arrivals of their bundles of joy.
One third of pregnant women in St. Joseph County seek help from local clinics. But directors at the Women's Care Centers say they're seeing more pregnant women walking through their doors and fewer donations coming in.
In today's tough economic times, Women's Care Centers are needed more and more. That's because they offer free services before, during and after pregnancy.
But with fewer donations coming in, center directors say they're going to need more resources.
Melissa Kovacs has fond memories of her first visit at the Women's Care Center.
"She brought me in a little pair of booties and a bottle of pre-natal pills and I was just like, shut up," said Women's Care Center Client Melissa Kovac.
And over the last seven years, Kovacs' used the center's services for all three of her children. But Women's Care President Ann Manion says now they're seeing more than just the regulars.
"Over the years, we just have seen an increase in percentage of the people in the county," said Women's Care Center President Ann Manion.
While the largest percentage of their clientele are teens and single moms, Ann says they're getting more people that don't fit the mold.
"Some of the women coming in and are people you wouldn't normally think would have to come to the Women's Care Center. Some of them are driving a little better cars and wearing a little bit better clothes. But they're either recently lost a job or had some kind of financial reversal," said Manion.
The economy's to blame. It's pushing people towards the center's free services.
"We offer everything from supportive counseling to parenting classes to tangible assistance groups car seats, diapers," said Manion.
After moms and dads attend parenting classes they can earn coupons to buy clothes, toys, and even baby formula, but center directors say they're going to need a lot more help to keep this room stocked this holiday season.
"This time of year is where we really hope to receive a lot of our funding that takes us through the whole year. We're a little worried with this economy, but we're hoping that people will remember us and put us at the top of their Christmas lists," said Manion.
Ann says they also have money and items set aside in their emergency fund. But all funds are dwindling down. And the thought of not having the Women's Care Center's services....
"I don't really know of many other places where I can get the services that I need," said Kovacs.
And the Women's Care Center on LaSalle Avenue in South Bend is getting a facelift. Construction on the center's pre-natal clinic should wrap up this spring. Center directors say the clinic will offer the highest level of comfort and confidentiality to their clients. They'll also have a full staff of nurses and OB/GYNs.
The center says the work began before the economic downturn. However, due to the growing demand, the new space is definitely needed.
There are four Women's Care Centers in St. Joseph County. You can send a monetary donation or drop off gently used or new items at any of their locations.
Click here for Women's Care Centers Information.
Online Reporter: Nadia Crow
Source: Fox 28 WSJV, South Bend, Elkhart, IN