Almost 750,000 teens become pregnant each year in the United States, estimates The Guttmacher Institute. Fifty-nine percent of those pregnancies result in birth. Some teen moms are often left with little support from friends, family and the father of the child. Government agencies, charities and foundations have put together programs that involve housing, food resources and mentoring so that teen moms can give their children can have the best start possible.
Second Chance Housing
Second Chance Housing, a program operated and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, offers a community atmosphere for teen moms. Set up as a group home for teen moms, a cluster of housing or a subdivision, Second Chance Housing offers low-income teens a place to live in addition to information about basic child care skills, job skills and eventual independence. To find out more about Second Chance Housing, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about available programs in your area:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 7th Street S.W. Washington, DC 20410 202-708-1112 hud.gov
StartRight Teen Mothers of Mentors
The StartRight Teen Mothers of Mentors program is run and maintained by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Missouri and Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City. With two locations, it services teen moms from all over the country. The StartRight program focuses on goal-setting, completion of high school and post-secondary education and sexual health, including the practice of safe sex to avoid repeat pregnancies. The StartRight program aims to give a teen mom the tools to be successful as they grow into adulthood.
Truman Medical Centers, Inc. 2301 Holmes Street Kansas City, MO 64108 816-404-5541 etr,org
Insights Teen Parent Program
Insights Teen Parent Program is a teen program based in Oregon that serves teen mothers and fathers from all over the country. The Insights program is available to help teen moms find reliable work, housing and education following the birth of their babies. Offering healthy start medical care for small babies, Insight also focuses on case management and support groups in which teen mothers can join together to discuss their experiences and strategies for the future.
Insights Teen Parent Program 711 SE Ankeny, Suite B Portland, OR 97214 503-239-6996 insightstpp.org
WIC, or Women, Infants and Children, is a government-sponsored program run through the Food and Nutrition Service that is operated on the state level to offer quality food to low income families. Teen moms can apply for things like formula, milk and basic food items through the state. WIC also offers breastfeeding and nutrition resources, health care and other support through their agencies. WIC conducts periodical interviews to ensure the health of the children and the mother's ongoing need for assistance. Contact the WIC office in your area.
WIC at FNS Headquarters: Supplemental Food Programs Division Food and Nutrition Service - USDA 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 520 Alexandria, VA 22302 703-305-2746 fns.usda.gov/wic/