“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
Several blocks from our main campus, nestled on the edge of the historic Treme, you’ll find a small apartment complex. The humble exterior masks its big purpose: a new home, dedicated to first-time pregnant people who are also experiencing homelessness.
At Covenant House New Orleans (CHNO), we are no stranger to pregnant and parenting youth; in fact, about a third of the youth in our care fall into this category. This is an extremely vulnerable population, and the consequences of homelessness and trauma are seen, quite literally, passed from one generation to the next. The traumatic stress and consequences of homelessness have contributed to the following adverse birth outcomes for individuals who give birth while living at CHNO:
- 50% experienced preventable postpartum complications
- 99% of babies born were below the national birth weight average
- 35% of moms giving birth were 18 or younger with higher rates of adverse birth outcomes
Our new program seeks not only to address these issues, but also the systemic forces at play that all too often contribute to adverse health outcomes. Particularly, Black women have disproportionately poor maternal health outcomes. The Maternal Pathways Program will provide direct care and service to mother and baby during the prenatal AND postpartum periods, while also seeking to get involved in public policy that affects young families.
The team behind the work is a women-led, women-inspired group – and a majority Black-led and inspired, to be clear. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are lifting up this team and highlighting their dedication to community and justice in vulnerable populations. Please know that many more individuals have contributed to this project and this is not an inclusive list of the entire team.
Direct Care Team
These are the women who have dedicated themselves to providing direct care to the pregnant people in the Pathways Program. Click through their profiles below.