Jenna* arrived in Bloomington nine months pregnant and with no resources for herself or her unborn child. She fled Indiana to escape her violent boyfriend and found a place to stay at a local domestic violence shelter. Just one week away from her due date, the shelter referred Jenna to the Crisis Nursery.
The Crisis Nursery provides care for families experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse, mental health issues or parents who need a break from the pressures of parenting.
Desperate for help, Jenna met outreach worker, Rhea, who helped her to complete the Crisis Nursery intake paperwork and provided her with basic needs items for the baby, including diapers, clothing and bath products.
Because Jenna had fled from her hometown, she did have any family or friends nearby and assumed she would deliver her baby at the hospital alone. But on the day Jenna went into labor, she called Rhea and asked if she could be with her during her labor and delivery. Rhea met Jenna at the hospital and stayed with her during and after the birth. Since giving birth, the Crisis Nursery has continued to provide Jenna with support, including referring her to the Healthy Start Program.
Healthy Start provides expectant and new parents, like Jenna, with home visiting services focused on bonding, attachment and social-emotional growth. The program is designed to help parents create safe, stimulating home environments by learning about child development, positive discipline techniques and developing parenting skills.
The Crisis Nursery and Healthy Families Program have opened the door to a support network for Jenna and she now feels hopeful that she and her baby will have a stable, safe future together.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual