Sade was homeless and unemployed, caring for her toddler son Elijah, when she found out she was pregnant again. Considering her circumstances, she was overwhelmed at the thought of another child.
“I didn’t know where I would go or what my future would be,” she said.
Without any friends or family in the area, Sade was in dire need of support. Luckily, she found just that at a local pregnancy help organization, Women’s Care Center, in Indiana.
“I came in here because I had no support,” she said. “On my first visit, I really just needed someone to listen.”
Inside Women’s Care Center, Sade found listening ears and more. As Women’s Care Center shrouded her in comfort, Sade fell in love with the center itself, and most importantly, baby L.J.—the tiny child growing inside of her.
Keen on learning to be the best mom she could be to both of her children, Sade decided to take full advantage of Women’s Care Center’s offerings, starting with weekly parenting classes.
There was just one problem. Sade didn’t have a car.
But she did have determination.
“We walked here to classes almost every day,” she said. “I would strap Elijah to my back and go. Sometimes it was raining and in the winter, it could be really snowy but we never missed an appointment.”
According to Women’s Care Center, Sade managed to make it to classes every single week of her pregnancy.
During those classes, she learned valuable parenting skills and earned coupons that she redeemed for brand new baby items in the center’s store. She also moved towards her goals of finding transportation, employment, and housing.
All because of the non-judgmental support she found at Women’s Care Center.
“Of course, we came every week!” she said. “We feel like this is our house now. This is our family.”
In becoming a mother for a second time, Sade’s life was dramatically transformed.
“The support that I got here was incredible,” she said. “The way my life is now—it’s all because I came here. My life is ten times better now. I have my own place, a job, I’m financially responsible. I was even promoted to manager recently. I’m able to take care of myself and my boys. All because of Women’s Care Center.”
One of 76,000
Sade is one of more than 76,000 women who have been helped in Indiana, thanks to the state’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program.
Signed into law by then-Governor Mike Pence in 2014, the program provides funds for services that promote childbirth rather than abortion. Through this initiative, the Indiana State Health Department hires Real Alternatives, a privatized social services program, to serve women like Sade across the state.
“Thanks to this continued state-wide program, pregnant women have another person to assist them which empowers them to overcome obstacles and pressures so they can choose life for their preborn baby,” Kevin Bagatta, president and CEO of Real Alternatives, said previously.
Women’s Care Center, the largest pregnancy help organization in Indiana, is one of six Real Alternatives providers throughout the state that receives reimbursement for services, such as parenting classes, counseling, and material resources, all of which benefited Sade and her boys.
Over the last six years of the program’s existence, Real Alternatives has reported significant results. In fiscal year 2019-2020, the group reported $2.4 million in client savings for prenatal care and $11.8 million in cost savings for children having up-to-date immunizations.
Those savings are major, as the program is currently funded at $2.25 million per year through federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds.
For the last 25 years, Real Alternatives has delivered similar results in Pennsylvania where it originated, providing life-affirming pregnancy support. In that time, the program has assisted over 324,000 women in need.