The courageous mothers who turn to Marisol Services for help have often exhausted their “fight or flight” responses. By supporting and re–energizing them, the Marisol team gives women a chance to recover from traumas they have faced and assist with medical care, material needs and emotional support. Together, they help them regain strength for the courageousness of motherhood strong.
Marisol Services’ comprehensive support helps women and their families fight the good fight in a variety of ways. This includes OB–GYN services, mental health counseling, parenting education, community engagement, material needs such as food, baby wipes, diapers and referrals for safe housing.
Cross–referrals are key. For instance, a woman experiencing homelessness who is pregnant or parenting young children could be referred to Marisol Homes, where she can receive shelter, case management, childcare for children up to 12 years old and classes ranging from job skills to financial management. Alumna of the program often remain engaged, returning for counseling or diapers as they find stable footing.
“We cross–refer all the time between these programs, and that is really the magic behind what makes the women who come through Marisol Services so successful. It is their ability to tap into this broad network of other services relatively seamlessly,” said Jan McIntosh, Catholic Charities vice president of Marisol Services.
The compassionate staff at Marisol Services recognize the value that courageous mothers bring to their communities and families. They know that when a mother is empowered, she can inspire her children and others around her.
Honoring courageous mothers
Marisol honors mothers like Jennifer, who moved into Marisol Homes in February after a stay in rehab. She was in her third trimester with her baby boy and was committed to both protecting him and fighting for custody of her two older children.
“That’s what I’m here for, to get it all together so they can see me,” she says of the children, ages 6 and 12, who live with a family member.
She worked with her case worker on a birth plan, so that the delivery of her baby boy was suited to her needs. Two weeks after her move in, she delivered her son Alais. She’s been gifted a car seat and stroller, as well as baby formula. Mother and son feel safe in what she calls her “mansion” of a room at Marisol Homes in an environment that is so supportive. “They just care about everything we feel and need and even want.”
The Strengthening Families classes are helping Jennifer become a better parent, which is her goal.
“They show me a lot of things that I didn’t know, things I need to know, things I’ve done wrong and could do better,” she says. They also give out hugs when the women could really use one, which means the world to her.
Marisol celebrates and honors the demonstrations of bravery and resilience of women like Jennifer. In the face of adversity that they see in these mothers daily, there is life. And while they can’t erase the challenges these mothers face, they offer support and assistance to help them navigate motherhood.
The importance of bonding with your infant is one of the many things Jennifer is learning at Marisol Homes, where women in need of support receive wraparound services.