Open Arms; Helping pregnant youth & Single moms impacted by dom
Created November 19, 2012 by Open Arms
LocationNorth York, Toronto
Funding Level$100k - 150k (< 2014)
Community SizeBetween 100 - 1,000
OverviewOpen Arms welcomes all that want to regain their lives and reinstate their autonomy. There is no difference between a lower income woman who falls victim to an abusive partner or a stay at home mom in the suburbs living with domestic violence, in both instances the women are stripped of their confidence and autonomy, they both have difficulties leaving their situation due to a variety of factors. Whether a new comer to the country, a pregnant youth or a stay at home mom from the suburbs, domestic violence trumps their status and hierarchy, it bonds them in a way far greater than their area code or income level. This organization sets out to help pregnant youth, single moms and their children whom have been impacted by domestic violence. Our aim is to help women and their children in this transitional period. Ironically this is the defining moment in the life of a single mom whom has been impacted by violence, as it is the hardest time she will face on her new journey, she no longer has her child’s father in her life, she may be ashamed to tell family and friends and the pressures of being alone will make her second guess if she can do this alone, she may even waiver and go back to the violent situation.
Our goal is to provide the support and encouragement during this time so that these women and their children are able to start their new lives in peace, to regain the autonomy and break the cycle of violence not only for themselves but also for their children in the future.
Our role during this process is that of a transitional aid, women whom are ready to leave or have left an abusive situation. We provide them with support encouragement and the tools they will need to move forward. The court system provides victim services, however many women are afraid to reach out to them for help as they fear having their children be taken away. This is where our organization comes in, we step in at the crucial time when single moms feel the greatest burden, when they have lost all hope and need the support and encouragement to take the next step forward, to figure out the direction they want to take for themselves and their family.
Generally consists of a three month support program (longer when dealing with pregnant youth), follow up conducted bi weekly for a year, where court dates are involved, the time frame will be extended to reflect the trial date, with quarterly follow up after the first year up to an additional year.(based on individual needs)
Services provided include;
Pre-natal and after birth support for pregnant youth,
Breast-feeding and parenting seminars,
Post-partum depression support and counseling
Providing nutritious meals for families, and teaching young mothers how to provide such meals at home
workshops on how to budget
Providing supplies for day to day care of babies and children (diapers, wipes, formula, clothing, equipment etc.)
Helping mothers secure housing, legal advice, jobs, affordable daycare, furnishings · One to one private counseling sessions to help mothers and their children cope · In home support to help mothers deal with their respective situations and day to day care for their children
Helping mothers adjust to being the sole care giver for their baby/child, and regain their autonomy
Offering transportation to and from center, as well as appointments, and court dates
Job training workshops and assistance with pursuing academic studies for mothers Mentor programs for older children, play groups for infants and toddlers
Conduct follow up with mothers and their children
If granted the funding through this competition we will be able to
- Acquire a safe space for our center;
- Secure the items required to operate the center for the first year
- Hire 1 – 2 paid employees as well as accommodate volunteers for the centers programs (both civilian and professional individuals)
- Compile a large number of startup essentials kits for pregnant youth and single moms
- Fund our mobile services
- Allocate funds for emergency situations involving our clients
After the first year we will depend on community fundraisers, donations, food and clothing drives to maintain our center.