“Having Community of Hope in the community is important because nothing else is enough. Community of Hope is doing the work that the community needs – especially Ward 8.”
LaDonnae Wells was in her second trimester of pregnancy when she connected with Community of Hope. As a first-time mom, LaDonnae was filled with uncertainty and fear that made her doubt her ability to take care of her baby. But that all changed when she entered Community of Hope’s early childhood Home Visiting program. This program supports families in Wards 5, 7, and 8 by providing wrap-around services related to family well-being, child development, and parental support. Families can start when they are pregnant and continue until their child is three years old. LaDonnae was paired with a Home Visiting Family Case Manager who was there for her during her pregnancy and postpartum journey. “She [Family Case Manager] always answered the phone. I wouldn’t know what I would do without her. She was like a sister to me. As a single mom, going through my first pregnancy alone, I was glad to have her for anything I needed.”
Her Family Case Manager provided LaDonnae with home visits that included learning about basic baby care needs such as proper ways to feed her baby, safe baby sleeping techniques, developmental milestone activities, and much more so she would feel prepared when the baby was born. “I learned how to take care of my daughter and live alone. She taught me everything I needed to make sure my baby would be okay.” The compassionate integrated care continued as LaDonnae was connected with Community of Hope’s health and emotional wellness services. Along with taking care of her baby, she could take care of herself and address any “baby blues” or stress that is common for new moms to experience after their baby’s birth. “I’m not angry anymore. I’m not sad anymore. I actually enjoy motherhood. I’m good at having her and taking care of her and, because of Community of Hope, I don’t feel alone anymore.” Even now, well into her postpartum journey, Community of Hope has remained consistent in providing postpartum support, emotional wellness services, and resources for LaDonnae and her daughter. “She’s [Family Case Manager] given me books, clothing, and all types of resources I need as a single mom that helps my peace of mind while doing this alone. Community of Hope has just been there for me.”
LaDonnae no longer lacks confidence in her parental skills. She now has a renewed confidence – thanks to the integrated care and support she received from Community of Hope. Today, LaDonnae is working on achieving personal and professional goals that she set for herself. She is finishing school, building her “Beautiful Bossy Babysitting” business, attainting additional business certifications, getting a car and a house, and overall just being the best version of herself.
If you would like to learn more about Community of Hope’s vision for Healthy Beginnings, Hopeful Futures, please visit www.communityofhopedc.org/newFHBC and to learn about supportive and integrated wellness programs, including home visiting, read here: https://www.communityofhopedc.org/healthcare/wellness-programs.