I will never forget the brokenness on this client’s face when she whispered my name with her head hung low and asked me to meet her in the hallway. This was particularly shocking as this client usually exhibited a bubbly personality. Once excluded from everyone she shared with tears in her eyes that she had recently been evicted and was living in her car. It is important to mention that she was also 7 months pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy. Needless to say, she felt embarrassed, helpless, and hopeless.
After celebrating her bravery and thanking her for sharing with me what she was going through, I encouraged her and told her that she would not have to walk through this storm alone, since she recently moved to Texas and did not have the support of family and friends to lean on. Based on her economic situation and impending delivery, we determined that a temporary to permanent shelter would be the best option at the moment until she gave birth. I was able to increase her protective factors, providing concrete support as I helped her secure placement at Union Gospel Mission. She was relieved to no longer have to live in her inoperable car.
Soon after, I received a phone call from her in which she explained that due to the constant drop in the baby’s heart rate, she had to be hospitalized. I went to visit her at the hospital to provide social support and coaching during this stressful time, understanding that the baby’s health was reacting to the adverse experiences the mom was facing. I shared with her how important it is to get enough rest and that she needs to focus on one thing at a time, among other things, which would allow her to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. To my surprise, the baby was born the next day, one month premature, but healthy. I was able to further increase her social and concrete protective factors by providing her with donated clothing and diapers. She was shocked but very happy and grateful.
Two weeks after the baby was born, I was gifted with the opportunity of holding this sweet child in my arms. I held back the tears in my eyes because I understood that as a Mentor Navigator, I am also serving future generations. To this day, she still sends me pictures of the baby and each one sets me ablaze to continue serving these overcoming and extraordinary women. I am honored that she allowed me to lock arms with her with a mindset of “Let’s Do This Together.”