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All the Help They Can Get

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April 17, 2017 | By Kate Pendlebury

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Eighteen year-old Jennifer and her long-term boyfriend, Lloyd, 20, first visited Catholic Charities' Washington County Outreach in November 2016, when Jen was still in her first trimester of pregnancy. The young couple was excited about their first baby, but they were already living on a limited income and knew that they would need "all the help they can get."

Jen and Lloyd's rapport with their caseworker, Brittany, was instantaneous. In fact, they valued her guidance so much that they invited Brittany to do their gender-reveal this February! Jen and Lloyd meet with Brittany once a month for the crucial support they need to help shape their baby boy's life. They watch videos and learn about fetal development, prepare for the birth, and develop their parenting skills. Brittany has also helped with referrals to partner agencies like Women, Infants, & Children (WIC), Genesis, and the Housing Authority. These referrals helped Jen and Lloyd move into a two bedroom house as they eagerly await their son's birth in June.

Like many other new parents living in Washington County, Jen and Lloyd receive ongoing benefits from Catholic Charities' Pregnancy and Parenting Program (PPP). While they are a devoted couple, and delighted about Jen's pregnancy, many of the women who seek assistance from PPP are single moms, and some of them are in crisis. The services that Catholic Charities offers for expectant mothers and parents of children up to age two are completely free. Parents and parents-to-be can consult staff for pregnancy testing, education, and guidance, and know that they will leave every monthly visit with essential infant-care items. Even better, there are no income eligibility requirements: all Jen and Lloyd had to do was show up and Catholic Charities responded to their clients' needs - providing all the help they could give.