BLOG: KNOWLEDGE SHARE
Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe
Becoming pregnant at 18, dropping out of school, and getting married wasn’t Patricia’s dream for her life. Yet when sweet baby Kayla was born just before Christmas 2008, both Patricia and Ben knew that they would do anything it took to be good parents to this little girl -- no matter how hard they had to work.
When Kayla was just a few months old, Patricia found Hope House and joined our GED Program as well as our Mentoring Program. She also took our Parenting classes and Job Readiness workshops. Best of all, she began to build a healthy community.
Transformation happens within long-term relationship.
This is a common refrain heard at Hope House because we know it to be true.
Because long-term relationship is so vital, Hope House serves our young moms for up to five years; we serve them most intensively during the first 12 months when we also measure their progress toward self-sufficiency. Each teen mom’s progress is evaluated on both economic and personal scales every six weeks through an Individual Goal Plan.
Critical to success during this time is the sense of community and belonging that our teen moms build with our staff, our volunteers, and each other. Later, as success markers are met and our girls move from “vulnerable” to the early stages of “stable” on our measurement rubric, they become eligible for our Graduate Program. Through this program Hope House provides the safety net so critical to continued success. At this point in their journey, one car repair can mean not having enough funds to pay the rent… and a spiral back into poverty and dependence on public assistance.
For Patricia and Ben, the Graduate Program provided a safety net that was crucial in keeping them on the road to self-sufficiency. Gift cards for gas and other necessities sometimes meant the difference in being able to pay their electrical bill. A car, donated by a Hope House champion, allowed them to get to work. Help with rent when Ben was hospitalized for two weeks meant not losing their apartment.
Patricia and Ben continued to work hard and were able to make progress on our economic self-sufficiency scale. Just as importantly, they continued to grow in maturity. Patricia kept meeting with her mentor and sought marriage counseling when needed. Ben finished electrician school and started doing small repairs at Hope House, anxious to give back.
In 2014, Ben was promoted at his job with the Colorado Department of Transportation, and they were able to buy their first house. Little Kayla started Kindergarten. Patricia joined the recently-formed Leadership Team at Hope House, and she has already taught classes for the younger girls. She has also written about and spoken on behalf of Hope House. She and her husband have even become Bedrock Builders, giving back monthly to Hope House!
Hope House is starting to come full circle with more and more graduates returning to give back. Some of them have taken advantage of our recent match around our Bedrock Builders Program – all new or increased monthly donations will be matched for the rest of the year!
Won’t you consider joining our young moms who are brand new Bedrock Builders? Together we can empower more teen moms this year than ever before!
By Lisa Steven, Founder & Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado
Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016
Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016
Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016
Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016
Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016
Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016
Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016
Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016
Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015
TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015
Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015
Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014
Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014
Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014
Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014
Community - 01/20/2014
8 Pennies - 12/18/2013
"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013
Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013
Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013
Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013
Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach
Eva said: I am so proud of Vanessa good friend of mine and mother. [more]