Nicky connected with The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program a few years ago. She was very young, pregnant, had no positive support from family or from her baby’s father. She had no idea of how to care for a baby or how to be a parent. The only thing of which she was certain, was that she did not want her child to have the same abusive childhood that she had growing up. She started doing some digging and found The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program. She contacted Nicole, the Young Parent Outreach Worker, right away.

Together, Nicky and Nicole found a supportive housing program that would help Nicky have a healthy pregnancy and launch her into parenthood. While in this program, Nicky stayed connected with Nicole for help to get to appointments and to look for other housing when her time was up in the supportive housing program. After baby Megan was born, Nicky moved to a small apartment. Megan’s father came back into Nicky’s life and it looked like he was ready to settle down and they could be a family. Still Nicky stayed connected to The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program. She relied on Nicole for help when she was worried about how to care for a baby with a cold, or how to comfort a teething baby, or how to cope with any of the million challenges of caring for a baby. She also appreciated having someone to share celebrating Megan’s milestones — her first tooth, her first step, her first word.

Nicky also needed someone to talk to about the baby’s father. He was becoming increasingly abusive to Nicky. He had a short temper and flew into swearing, name-calling rages when he got tired of Megan’s crying or when Nicky wasn’t meeting his expectations. Together, Nicky and Nicole made a plan for Nicky to leave.

Over the next year, The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program helped Nicky get into stable housing, helped with some rent supplements, helped with transportation to the Food Bank and with other appointments, and connected her with counselling. Then COVID hit. Nicky, like most of the young moms in The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program, found herself isolated with a small child. She ventured out to the supermarket a couple of times but was reprimanded by strangers for bringing her child out in a pandemic. Nicole made doorstep deliveries of groceries, health packs, and activity packs for Megan. Together, they safely got through the worst of the pandemic.

Now with pandemic restrictions lifting and Megan ready to start Kindergarten in September, Nicky is looking forward to pursuing her dream of creating a small business. She is counting on launching this next stage of her life, together, with The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program.

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