As friends of Shepherd’s Gate, many of you know about the effects of homelessness on young children. From physical health, to mental and emotional development, to schooling — the odds are stacked quite high against these precious children. But something you might not know is that the impact of homelessness starts long before a child is even born. Consider these facts about homeless mothers: — Homeless parents today are likely to be single mothers in their 20’s who gave birth to their first child as a teenager. They are likely to have an incomplete education and to have never been employed. — Often, these young mothers were homeless themselves as children — approximately 25% of them were in the foster care system. “Many homeless parents have experienced physical and sexual abuse, constant crisis, family and community violence, isolation, and the cumulative stress of persistent poverty.” — 1 in 5 mothers struggles with substance abuse of some kind during their pregnancies, putting their unborn baby at tremendous risk for medical problems and developmental delays. — Homeless women are far less likely than others to seek prenatal care. 50% of pregnant women do not get a medical assessment of their pregnancy prior to entering a shelter. Every woman experiencing homelessness is incredibly important, and every situation is urgent — but there is a particular urgency where pregnant women are concerned. Every day that a pregnant mother continues to struggle with homelessness, so does her unborn child, often with life-long consequences. But the good news is: outcomes can be drastically changed when a woman has a safe place to eat nutritious meals, a warm bed to sleep in, addiction recovery support, and medical care. We celebrate babies born at Shepherd’s Gate, because every baby born here is welcomed into a safe, secure, supportive environment. It’s all because of the care and concern of friends like you — and we’re so grateful! Feel free to share your responses, thoughts, and prayers in the comments section below. Source: Family Housing Fund

Photo courtesy Zervas

Shepherd’s Gate Locations

1660 Portola Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
United States
(925) 443-4283

605 Sycamore Ave
Brentwood, CA 94513
United States
(925) 308-7507