Imagine, you are young and alone, from a disadvantaged home where abuse and poverty are rampant—and you are pregnant. Your education and life skills are minimal and you have no idea how you will care for your infant and support the two of you. Where do you go for help?
There is a safe haven for you where you will learn how to care for your baby and pick up some employable skills along the way. That place is CHLOE’s Place. CHLOE’s Place is a unique concept dedicated to equipping young mothers with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to continue their education and become personally fulfilled and socially responsible adults while promoting positive parenting, healthy families, and homes where children are valued and loved. The director, Connie Nafziger, RN, is a former Community Health Nurse who quit her job over ten years ago to dedicate her life to finding answers to breaking the cycle of poverty.
I first wrote about CHLOE’s Place exactly one year ago (see CHLOE’S Place Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, January 27, 2011) and since then a lot of exciting things have been happening for Nafziger and her team. I recently received an email from Connie excitedly asking everyone to post a link to a survey on their Facebook page and to forward it to all their contacts so they can gather important information to help guide their project. The survey was designed by a professor at Capital University as an undergraduate research project to benefit CHLOE, Inc. and now, she and her students are ready to launch. Connie says the survey will provide wonderful insight they long to have. The more responses that are received the more successful the project will be. They hope the data gathered from this survey will more accurately help them determine the needs of single mothers.
If you are a single mother, or have been a single mother, then please take a few minutes to answer the survey below. I also ask all my readers to please post this survey on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and/or blog so they might be able to get a wide variety of responses. The survey takes only a few minutes to answer and the results will go a long way in developing a tailor-made program to help young single mothers care for themselves and their babies while equipping them with skills to break the cycle of poverty.http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SingleMothers
Please help with this worthy project. YOU can be a link in breaking the cycle of poverty.
On leaving my position as a Community Health Nurse, having served hundreds of young mothers and their children, I knew the course was set for the rest of my career. I determined to establish a not-for-profit organization able to equip others with health and life skill education; CHLOE, Inc was born in 1999. A wealth of experiences has prepared us well. In 2008 we expanded and refined our focus to equipping young single moms with the education and life skills they need to prevent and break cycles of poverty. They are guided toward educational opportunities and life choices that create opportunities for self-sustainability.
In 2011 we launched Chloe’s Moms Connection, an Advocacy program for young single moms; piloting different formats and opportunities. We learned a lot about the challenge of engaging young women in classes and what they value. Having assessed the challenges and researched other options we are transitioning to a “Learn & Earn” model this month. Parenting, Life skill, or Childbirth Preparation lessons completed with an Advocate are awarded with ‘CHLOE Points’ to be spent at Chloe’s Closet! Our ‘closet’ is stocked with infant & toddler clothing, diapers, and other essentials and treats. We are inviting pregnant teens to enroll. Four young moms currently enrolled will no doubt be joined by many others in the coming months. We are grateful to Sharon Woods Baptist Church (5959 Sharon Woods Blvd, Columbus) for providing space for Chloe’s Closet and classrooms.
As an advocate for victims of abuse, I gained understanding of the plight of women and children living in abusive or high risk environments. This fuels my determination to establish a residential program. Once Chloe’s Place, is established, young moms needing a safe place to live for a couple of years while working on educational, relational, and career goals will be provided safe haven. Such an ambitious plan requires a firm foundation; we work daily to make sure it is indeed sound and enduring before we open our residential program.
A Five year strategic plan has us on a positive trajectory to accomplish our mission. CHLOE’s Advocacy, Community outreach/education, Residential program, and a Micro-enterprise (to meet at least 51 % of our operational budget) are in the works.
Our mission is practical, our visions is achievable, our purpose worthy. You are invited to join us in this journey to equip young single moms and pregnant teens in whatever way you are able.
Blessings & Peace, ConnieNafziger,RN Founder/Executive Director
To learn more about CHLOE, Inc. see www.chloeinc.org
Director’s Blog: http://www.chloespath.blogspot.com
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- Call Me Crazy (samestorydifferentface.com)
- Statistics and Single Moms: My Child Isn’t a Criminal! (blogher.com)