Lutheran Social Services of Indiana: Helping moms to graduate
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation supports organizations and programs committed to helping vulnerable and underserved populations with health and wellness needs in Allen County. Pregnant women and infant care are one of the vulnerable populations that the foundation focuses on. Since 2015, the foundation has provided grants to Lutheran Social Services of Indiana’s (LSSI) Education Creates Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) program. The foundation recently awarded LSSI a $20,000 grant during the fall 2022 grants cycle. Below is a story LSSI recently shared to demonstrate the impact of their work with the help of St. Joe and others in the community.
“When Christine began working with the ECHO program, she was homeless and looking at housing options for herself, her child, and her boyfriend. They eventually had to move in with family. This continued to be a very stressful time for Christine. She was taking online classes to complete her high school education but began to fall behind. Christine realized that online classes were not the best option for her and turned to her case manager for guidance. With the support of her family and case manager, Christine made the decision to go back to school, in person, for the remainder of the year.
Christine had many questions about parenting, healthy relationships, going to college, and living on her own. Christine and her case manager discussed her parenting skills and set goals. Her case manager was able to provide parenting education as well as child development information. In addition, the case manager made sure Christine’s baby was up to date on his doctor’s well-check appointments and immunizations. Christine learned how to work on her time management skills and set goals on how she could prioritize her responsibilities. Her case manager helped her with financial literacy, education, and life skills to keep her focused.
Christine faced many challenges but was determined to graduate from high school. Her case manager encouraged her to stay focused on school, and they began to talk about college. ECHO staff also maintained regular contact with Christine’s guidance counselor to ensure she was staying on track with her credits and classes.
Due to the support and encouragement she received from the ECHO program, Christine graduated from high school, found a job in the healthcare field, and is in her second semester of college. She was able to purchase her own car while working, going to college, and raising her son. She still meets with her case manager, and they continue to work on her parenting goals while balancing college, work, and developing the skills necessary for long-term stability.”
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