Jackie was seven months pregnant and had no money to buy a crib. That’s why she went to the Black & Williams WayPoint Center. The 21-year-old told Community Impact Manager Gerri Botts Lilly that she wanted to be “the best mom I can be” but, after growing up in foster care or living temporarily with family members, she knew little about parenting or child development.
Gerri worked with Jackie to assess her needs. In tears, Jackie said she had a low-wage part-time job, had not received her food stamps for the month due to an administrative error and was sleeping on couches or floors in the homes of different friends. Plus, she couldn’t always afford prenatal vitamins and she had learned that her pregnancy was high-risk and required doctor visits twice a week.
With Gerri’s help, Jackie met with a partnering employment agency at WayPoint and developed a plan for her to work at a temporary job until her baby is born. After that, the agency will assist in placing her in a full-time job. Jackie and Gerri worked together to re-establish Jackie’s SNAP benefits and maximize her Medicaid benefits, including prenatal vitamins and transportation to medical appointments. They completed applications for income-based housing and made an appointment for Jackie to meet with a potential landlord.
Jackie also met or made plans to meet with partnering agencies, some located at WayPoint, to start working toward getting her GED and obtaining vocational and financial literacy training, receive guidance on child development and creating a safe home environment for young children and participate in cooking classes for young mothers.
Jackie left WayPoint with a book about the last trimester of pregnancy and a duffle bag courtesy of WayPoint supporter Toyota that contained a blanket for her baby. She also left with the reassuring thought that the agency that sponsors her cooking classes has a furniture bank and, once she’s settled into her new home, it will provide a crib.