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Monday, May 13, 2024

“If you are a young mom, this place does help:’ This Mother’s Day, Brigid’s Crossing Residents Celebrate Courage and Growth

Jayda, a resident in Catholic Charities Boston’s Brigid’s Crossing program, says her favorite part of the day is when her newborn daughter opens her eyes and gazes up at her.

“I love interacting with her and singing to her as she falls asleep,” Jayda said.

May 12 marked one month of life for Jayda’s daughter and an important milestone for 17-year-old Jayda herself––her first Mother’s Day.

The past year has required both courage and perseverance, Jayda says, not only speaking for herself but for all of the young moms who live at Brigid’s Crossing.

Catholic Charities Brigid’s Crossing provides housing and aims to teach young mothers the value of responsibility and independence while helping them to achieve their goals. Residents are referred to the program through the Departments of Transitional Assistance and Children and Families.

During their stay, the young mothers receive assistance with educational placements, securing daycare resources for their child or children, parenting support and instruction, life skills training, medical resources, mental health care, and assistance with finding housing.

“I didn’t know anyone in my position,” said Jayda. “I’ve liked being around the other moms and feeling validated.”

Rosemary Davis, Assistant Director at Brigid’s Crossing, said she and her staff are dedicated to helping the young moms navigate the uncharted waters of motherhood, offering emotional support and counselling resources to the residents, guiding them in their academic goals or career aspirations, connecting them to affordable child care programs, and ensuring they have the skills and knowledge they need to best care for their child.

Among the resources offered is a program called School on Wheels, in which mentors from the community work with the moms to identify their academic and career goals, build resumes, and facilitate art projects and other creative activities.

Another vital program at Brigid’s is a volunteer-led course called ‘Money Matters’ which teaches moms about budgeting, opening a bank account, and managing their finances. Residents also have the opportunity to earn “boutique bucks” through helping with various tasks and chores at the home, which they can then use to purchase items at the on-site “Brigid’s Boutique” offering clothing and essential items.

“If you are a young mom and you come here, this place really does help,” said resident Keiana, who just turned 20 and is due to have her first child this month.

Like many young moms at Brigid’s Crossing, Keiana’s path has not always been easy; in high school, she struggled with depression and family challenges that led her to drop out of school her senior year.

Since finding out she was going to be a mother, however, Keiana says she feels a newfound determination to obtain the best education possible for her son and is now on track to complete her GED this summer, with hopes to apply to UMass Lowell in the fall.

While Keiana said she has always been independent, she has appreciated the opportunity to learn vital aspects of caring for a newborn baby through the Parenting Training course that Rose teaches every week. When asked what aspect of the future she is most excited about, Keiana smiles and looks down.

“My son, of course,” she says. “I just can’t wait to meet him. I want to feel that love that everyone talks about.”

Learn more about Brigid’s Crossing and Catholic Charities Boston’s shelters here. To help support Brigid’s Crossing and other Agency programs, visit our Ways to Give page.

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