House of Esther to help first time moms - WNEM TV 5

House of Esther to help first time moms

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A new home is in the works to help local pregnant women with nowhere to go.

Organizers said the sprawling campus and former nunnery will soon become a resource for first time moms.

"Moms who've made a decision that they're pregnant and they want to keep their baby, but they also want to go to school," said Yveonna Penton, counselor and former director of domestic violence and sexual assault at the YMCA.

Penton saw firsthand how pregnancy could cause women to drop out of school and fail to pursue an education. That's why she came up with the vision for the House of Esther in Flint.

Countless donors and volunteers have helped make the house a reality.

"As a community, Genesee County, we're going to gather together as a village and help them continue their education and in the meantime bring in other people to help them support things that they need to be a good mom," Penton said.

Organizers - like 100 Women Who Care - and individuals have stepped up to donate everything from a bed to a rocking chair, even design entire rooms.

"I've been anticipating this for about three or four years," Brenda Crowder said.

Crowder will teach sex education, nutritional health and exercising  classes at the home.

A maximum of 18 first time moms will live there before and after their pregnancy. The idea is to help them gain strength as family leaders and become re-acclimated back into the community.

After a year of renovations, the gas and lights were turned on Tuesday. Now Penton is gearing up for a late summer opening.

"It's like one day at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. And that's what we want to teach the girls. One day at a time so they don't get overwhelmed with the fact that they got to go to school, they have to have a baby, they have to learn how to eat, they have to learn how to sleep," Crowder said.

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