Pregnant? Need Help?

Charlize and Dion

Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell
November 10, 2023

Charlize, 21 years old, was almost breathless when she described the things, she and her baby Dion, have been able to do since coming to Good Counsel.  “My favorite was the apple picking. Our home went together with the moms and babies of the Bronx home. I’ve never done that, and this was the first time for Dion. His eyes were so bright, he was so happy.”


“I see donors bringing pampers, wipes, clothes, bath tubs, bouncers to the house. Very generous people, very kind-spirited. We don’t see all the donors, but they are definitely blessings - everything they bring us is used and we’re thankful. Many moms don’t have the means to get these things themselves.”

For this Thanksgiving, please help another Good Counsel mom and child like Charlize and her son.

Charlize wasn’t always this serene. She was pregnant and living with her grandmother in Brooklyn because her own mother had retired and moved to Delaware.  Then, her aunts and uncle came back home to live at her grandmother’s home.                                             

There was no room for Charlize anymore, and she was terrified she wouldn’t find a place before giving birth. She was afraid to tell her family about the pregnancy because she wasn’t financially stable but she knew she couldn’t stay at home anymore anyway. Some friends let her sleep on their couch – they emphasized it was temporary - and Charlize grew more and more anxious thinking she’d eventually be forced to go to a city shelter, where it would be unsafe, especially in her condition. She dreaded thinking her only recourse would be to sleep outside. She was 35 weeks pregnant now, and after living with friends for some months,Charlize went to a city agency, called PATH. They referred her to Good Counsel, saying it was a wonderful maternity home.

“The social worker called Good Counsel for me on a Friday. I did an Intake interview over the phone, and the lady told me to come right away. There was a room for me! I came to the house inSpring Valley on the next Monday, July 31, and I gave birth to Dion on August 18. Right away, I got help – I came to Good Counsel with nothing – and they helped with my mental health issues, made sure I went to all my doctors’ appointments, showed me how to fill out the papers to get WIC for my son, we got diapers - all the things babies need.”

Charlize got a voucher from PATH for an apartment and Ms. Annette, her Good Counsel Resident Advisor, has been going with her on apartment tours, and it looks like a decent one has been found in Brooklyn. She says she’ll be a little upset to leave Good Counsel because she’s built so many good relationships here, and also because she’s never been on her own before. With assistance from the staff, she is gaining newfound confidence that she’ll be able to build a good life for herself and Dion.

Charlize’s mother worked for the Brooklyn D.A. for 38 years, and in the near future, Charlize would like to pursue a degree in criminal justice. “I’m in school now – the term started October 2,” she said, “I also have online classes. The school gave me a laptop, which is so great. Each term is 11 weeks, and I have to take a 2-year program, instead of a4-year. I always liked school and always was an honors student. I’m used to the stress and pressure of school.”

Charlize’s mother takes care of her autistic son and has asked Charlize to come to Delaware because she wants to be part of her grandson’s life. Coincidentally, her boyfriend’s (Dion’s father who is supportive) dad also lives in Delaware. She is considering moving in with her mother as possibly the best solution right now. “My son was born on the same day as my mom!”

Charlize prays when going to sleep and when she gets up every day. She prays for strength, will power, for a good day. For good things to happen.

Charlize says that “The babysitting part of Good Counsel is so great - they’re very good with him; he’s always smiling at them. It would have been a lot more stressful without that care for my child. How could I go back to school? Or find work? I don’t trust many people to watch Dion, but the staff here are really loving and careful with him and the other babies. I’m thankful.”

Your support will help another mother and child at Good Counsel like Charlize and her son. Please give generously.

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