Working with teen moms is always a challenge and never dull. I enjoy seeing them become young adults and growing on the journey of parenthood. So often I see the young parents turn out fine and move on to the next stage of their life. But, sometimes there are the teens that really stand out in their struggle. These teens often need extra support. They come from abusive homes, from families that have so little to give financially or emotionally that they could use the support of a shelter. If you have worked in any helping field that deals with homelessness you know that shelters are extremely full and hard to get into. Imagine being young, pregnant and homeless, having a baby and being put out by parents that just don’t understand that you are still a teenager or realizing that you don’t want your child to witness or be a part of the abuse that you have been subjected to. Imagine being told that there is a shelter available, but you have to leave your high school, neighborhood and friends. St. Charles County needs this welcoming place for young teen moms so they can be supported in their community to become the best parents and citizens that they so want to become. I see it everyday working with teen moms in the STL metro area. Offering resources, but girls stay where they are because the change is too great so they and their babies stay in situations that are not optimal. Some teens may not need the physical building of the shelter, but may just need to know that they have a safe place to go and others like them will be there for support and to lift them up on their journey. An example of the needs I deal with frequently are transportation, emergency formula, diapers, wipes and infant toys. These young parents need the mentorship and modeling of healthy parenting so many have never seen nor have their parents. The Sparrow’s Nest can provide this. I know that Carissa and the Sparrow’s Nest Family are on a great journey to do a greatly needed service in the St. Charles community. Sonya L. Burnett, M.P.H. Certified Parent Educator for 14 years Ferguson-Florissant School District I have worked with teen parents for more than 7 years over my 14 years with the Parents as Teachers program. I thoroughly enjoy what I d
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