YOUNG MOTHER AND DAUGHTER GET FRESH START ON LIFE
St. Monica Home offers a medically sound and emotionally healthy environment for a pregnant teen to reside in while waiting for the birth of her baby. Residents learn to foster positive relationships and parenting skills under the guidance of experienced and encouraging resident advisors through educational programs, counseling sessions, and prenatal services. Residents also have continuing educational opportunities and gain valuable work experience through our junior volunteer program.
Desyree Woodson and daughter Dakota essentially were homeless, with little hope for the future and living on the streets, when circumstances, and a dose of fate, led them to a new beginning at St. Monica Home. Nine months later, Desyree, 19, graduated high school at Campagna Academy in Schererville and looks forward to attending college.
“If it wasn’t for St. Monica, I don’t know where I would be or if I would even have my daughter with me,” she said, on the day of her graduation celebration at St. Monica Home.
Now, she plans to attend a local community college with aspirations of a career in early childhood education, running a daycare center, or possibly such a facility as St. Monica, as did new mentor and St. Monica Home home manager, TaShena Melton, a former client herself.
“We’re all very proud of Desyree; she’s a model resident and I have enjoyed watching her become a leader,” TaShena said, adding, “She is a wonderful mother who has accomplished so much with her daughter. I look forward to her making her own choices for the future.”
Before her arrival at St. Monica, which Desyree chose after researching residential facilities for unwed, pregnant teens and new mothers, she didn’t know how to grocery shop, cook, or apply for a job, and was having trouble caring for Dakota. In fact, the child was hospitalized just prior to Desyree contacting the home. “I looked up St. Monica and got an interview with Miss TaShena, who came to the hospital. A couple days later, I was here,” the young mother said.
“I wanted to come here mainly to be together with my daughter. I am learning to become more independent and responsible and understand how to be better prepared for being a parent in the outside world,” Desyree said.
Desyree Woodson is shown with daughter Dakota at St. Monica Home.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A GIFT TO SUPPORT ST. MONICA HOME, CALL THE FRANCISCAN ALLIANCE FOUNDATION AT (219) 661-3402.