The Northwest Center’s maternity home provides transitional, supportive housing to pregnant women – usually homeless or in danger of becoming homeless – between the ages of 18 – 30 and any children they have. Residents enter the program during any stage of pregnancy and may stay in the program for up to 18 months. As the only place in DC where a pregnant woman without other children can come for housing at any stage of her pregnancy, the maternity home plays a crucial role in addressing the problem of homelessness and pregnancy in our nation’s capital.
Each resident meets weekly with the Maternity Home Director, a licensed clinical social worker, to establish short and long-term goals, including independent living skills and building and strengthening support networks. The goals are tailored to individual strengths and obstacles, and identify specific steps a woman will take to have a healthy pregnancy, become proficient in parenting skills, complete or continue her education, obtain employment and childcare, and move into viable long-term housing.
The expertise of the Maternity Home Director forms the foundation on which we are able to ensure that residents progress toward self-sufficiency. The program’s Resident Manager, a live-in staff member, provides additional support for our residents. The maternity home program also helps to keep families together by permitting a pregnant woman with a young child to bring her child with her to live at the home.
After a woman moves into her own housing, she may continue to work with the social worker for as long as she would like assistance. In this way, the staff and other moms at the home remain part of her expanded support network. These continuing follow-up services are a significant part of our commitment to the mission of empowering women to achieve true change in their lives.
Client Photo Courtesy of Renata Grzan Wieczorek/RenataPhotography.com