"Susan" was married with two beautiful children. In their home, addiction caused havoc and stress in the marriage and with the children. With the family breaking apart, Susan's husband was able to get his addiction under control. However, Susan's addiction was spiralling her down and she ended up homeless and without her family. She became pregnant with another addict's baby and in her desperation, she checked herself into detox and then into a recovery program. Susan then moved into Emma House when she was seven months pregnant. During her time at Emma House, she was able to begin communicating with her husband again and have supervised visits with her two children.
Through receiving couples counselling, their relationship strengthened and Susan's
husband was with her when her baby boy was born. Through the following months, the relationship was beginning to heal. When Susan's baby boy was five months old, they moved out of Emma House and back with their family. A family was restored!
Domestic Violence contributes to the vulnerabilities of our pregnant mothers. In Canada, 25% of homeless women cite domestic abuse as a factor leading to their housing loss. Additional challenges like being an immigrant or refugee multiplies their vulnerability. Over half of the residents currently at Emma House have experienced domestic violence, which includes physical and emotional abuse.
"Amanda" came to Canada with some family members from a refugee camp in Africa. She was abused by her father and other men that were invited into the home. Other female family members emotionally assaulted her and shamed her. She ran away from home and was in and out of group homes. Because of the trauma that she has endured, she shuts down from emotional connections.
She came to Emma House pregnant and staff worked to rebuild her self esteem and confidence. When she gave birth to a baby girl, the CFS was worried that she would not be able to bond with her baby and respond to her needs. However, we saw a miracle and Amanda is connecting well with her baby, who will be 5 months old this month.
Because of faithful donors and volunteers, we have been able to house 20 pregnant women and see 11 babies born in 2017. The challenges are immense. However, we are hopeful because we have seen women overcome them when they are surrounded with by people who love them and advocate for them.
Will you be an advocate for these mothers and babies in 2018? If everyone receiving our newsletter donated $150 before the New Year, our operating costs for January would be covered. Now is the time! Donate before December 31st to receive a tax credit for 2017. You can donate online at emma house.ca
The new year will be full of hope at Emma House because of you.