Written by: Tom Stevens, President and CEO of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia
Oftentimes when standing outside abortion centers, as we reach out to women (and men), we say, “You don’t have to do this— there’s help! There are options, information, support, assistance, housing, community, clothing, counseling, as well as other forms of help. We want to help you and we want to help your baby. There’s no problem or difficulty so insurmountable that you can’t overcome it. You are stronger than you think you are!” We can truly help…and we will.
Jhanee was one example. She was living in a friend’s van while putting herself through school. She was pregnant and in need of help. She heard about our maternity home, Guiding Star (it could have just as easily been another home for pregnant moms such as Cradle of Hope, Our Lady’s House, Mother’s Home, etc.). She met with the Guiding Star director and when there was room, Jhanee moved in and expressed how the home really helped her. Two years later she’s independent, working, living in an apartment, and raising her 10 month old child. Later Jhanee contacted us because her employer cut her hours and she was having troubles paying rent that month. We had her complete a ‘rental assistance’ application and state her need (including her plan to not continue to be in this situation). While Jhanee was visiting our office to receive a check for rental assistance made out to her landlord, she mentioned that she had no furniture in her apartment. Two days later someone called me and said she wanted to donate furniture to the Pro-Life Union. I said, “Thank You, Lord!”—I know someone who needs some furniture. Pro-Life Union board member, Patrick Stanton, and a moving company delivered it to her apartment.
That’s what we call the Continuum of Care. If a mother is unexpectedly pregnant, homeless, or in some other challenging situation, we say, “We can help.” And we do help. She gains housing at Guiding Star (or some other home), support, counseling, parenting classes, community, and other ways of assistance. Then she moves into independent living and we stay in contact. If she needs help again, she will know where to turn.
To illustrate the concept, we receive these types of calls:
- “Hello, my name is Renee and I am 20 years old. I’m pregnant and looking for a place to stay.”
- “Hi, I have 3 kids and just left an abusive relationship. I’ve been living on the streets for two days. Please help me.”
- “I’m pregnant, have a 11 month old child, and need help finding a job.”
The pro-life community is passionate, caring, resourceful, and always here to help. Contact our Pregnancy Hotline numbers for immediate assistance: call 610-626-4006 or text 484-451-8104.
(Article published in the Pro-Life Union’s August 2019 newsletter update.)