New BeginningsA home for pregnant women and their babies.

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A Resident’s Life Changes…

It’s 7 a.m.  Allison is ready to walk out the front door for the day, with a diaper bag, and a bundled up Sam in her arms.  Sam, Allison’s curious 9-month old son, peaks his head out from under his snowsuit and blanket to greet the day with a playful growl. Allison is on her way to bring Sam to daycare and then she is off to work. They return to New Beginnings around 5 p.m., just in time for dinner. Following dinner Allison attends programming at New Beginnings, completes her chores and then has playtime with Sam before bed. This day may seem packed full, but to Allison this is her normal weekday routine.

Two years ago, Allison could have been found sleeping the day away on a friend’s couch, unemployed, with little ambition and a dangerous habit.

Allison moved to New Beginnings in late March of 2008. Allison made the decision to move after learning she was pregnant and wanting the best for herself and her baby. “I didn’t have a stable place to live or a healthy environment for Sam,” Allison said.

Since moving into New Beginnings, Allison has set out on a mission for a better life, not only for herself, but also for Sam. Within the last nine months Allison has received her CNA license, is employed at Subway, has learned many new skills about being a mother, has developed a healthy relationship with Sam’s father and has made ties within the St. Cloud community.

Although Allison is blooming within the New Beginning’s program, she has had her share of struggles. Allison gave birth to Sam on the same day she moved into New Beginnings. She didn’t have a lot of time to learn about parenting before Sam was born. The skills she has learned, she has learned by doing. Allison also struggled with communicating and asking others for help when she has needed it.

Life as a single working mom can be difficult. “You’re tired because you constantly have to be aware of what is going on around you. When I’m not with Sam I am worrying about him and if he will be smart enough to be a doctor or how I am going to handle future situations with him,” Allison said.

Although life can be difficult, Allison finds relief in other residents. She enjoys being able to talk to other mothers at New Beginnings and exchanging parenting tips.

She is thankful for where she is, “Being at New Beginnings is helping Sam have a normal life, without having a typical family situation.”

Allison is preparing to transition out of the New Beginnings’ program soon. She has completed Renting 101 through Stearns County where she learned about credit and how it can affect different aspects of life. She is now looking for housing for her and Sam.

As Allison looks back on the first year of motherhood, she offers a word of advice to other single mothers in similar situations, “Be independent, you need to take responsibility for yourself and your baby and don’t be ashamed to use your resources and ask for help.”