I'm writing a note not for donations and not for help but simply to share a story of a young woman in our community who is in need of our prayers. Her situation is quite bleak in my opinion, and I'm not really sure where to start to begin to be of service to her.
This young woman is 24 years old, she has two children (ages 1 and 2) and recently had a baby that I've been concerned about for multiple reasons. The woman had tried breast-feeding and supplementing that with formula from WIC but she couldn't produce enough and didn't get enough formula to last very long. The street ministry has provided formula for now but the woman needs a plan to support the baby. The baby is small, doesn't seem to be gaining a "normal" amount of weight and I believe doesn't seem to be developing as would be expected. I've talked to the woman enough to gain some of her trust and she agreed to let me help her make an MD appointment and ensure getting her there, which we did on Thursday. I was comforted that that the doctor said that the baby had gained an acceptable amount of weight from birth but he added there is not an ounce to gamble with as far as consistent weight gain. For now, the baby is stable. I offered to go to WIC with her but she didn't have the necessary documents with her to be processed so for now, the formula the Street Ministry and that the clinic provided will have to suffice. I'm going to keep reminding her to go to WIC and will accompany her if she'll allow me to do so. Diapers are another issue, one that she'll need to stay on top of and somehow manage to obtain.
The young woman has multiple stressors: she's homeless, she has a horrible relationship with the kids' father and his new wife who typically have the 2 older kids in their custody. Her father who she had been staying with a few months back was just released from jail for domestic abuse against a woman that the street ministry is familiar with. She has absolutely no income, history of molestation and rapes starting when she was 11 years old that she still reports having nightmares about (she says she's often afraid to go to bed so add to this list: sleep deprivation), no transportation, reports frequent hunger, fear of losing the kids. I'm wondering if she has some cognitive deficits or is simply so overwhelmed that she can't get herself moving in a positive direction. She told the doctor that she trusts few people and therefore has a very small to non-existent support system. I asked her if she ever had some time for herself away from the kids and she said no, but she didn't want that as the baby was like a "security blanket" to her. She has little to no work history and even if she could obtain a job, she wouldn't have reliable and safe daycare. Yesterday she expressed interest in a job program (W2?) but she does not know much about it or how to get into contact with the necessary people. Her entire situation boggles my mind and if I'm stressed by it, I can only imagine how she feels living it.
I'm sure there are more people like this in the community and I'm not suggesting that we get involved at all other than prayers of hope and support. Stories like this remind me of how privileged I am as well as to be thankful for all of the people in my life and the gifts and talents I've been given. It given me reason to contemplate what, if anything, can I do for this woman or others like her.
Please pray for this young woman and especially for her very young children, I fear they all have a bumpy road ahead of them.
Thanks for your attention,