Jefferson County: Safe and secure with help from Pregnancy & Parenting Support team - Good Shepherd


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June 12, 2024

Alissa made choices in her younger years that, looking back, she says were not in her own best interest. She’s fiercely independent and decided to leave school before graduation, start a family when she was very young, and gave her heart to those who wouldn’t be there for her. Within a decade, she would find herself in an abusive relationship that resulted in her fourth pregnancy and few options.

It was her obstetrician who told her about Good Shepherd. “My doctor is like everyone’s grandpa. He saw me crying because I had nowhere to go and told me Good Shepherd could help,” she said.

Almost immediately, Good Shepherd’s Pregnancy & Parenting Support team in the Hillsboro office stepped in to make sure Alissa had everything she needed to have a healthy birth and resources to create a positive future for herself and her four children.

What was your situation like one year ago?

You can’t imagine how badly your body hurts when you’re pregnant and sleeping in a car. But women who are trying to restart their lives after abusive relationships can have a hard time finding a place to stay. I had placed my three older children with my mom so they could be safe while I looked for help.

What happened when you called Good Shepherd?

I want people to know that Good Shepherd gives you every resource they have. I wasn’t a candidate for the maternity shelter because it’s for mothers who are younger than me, so they found a hotel where I could stay. They gave me care packages with food and gift cards – things to keep me afloat while I looked for an apartment. I moved into the place we found and two weeks later I had my son.

How did you prepare for your new baby?

Good Shepherd connected me with a resource to help pay for housing,but getting assistance can be tough because if you start to get your feet on the ground with a job, the help can go away. My Good Shepherd case worker was there to explain why I needed a little more time.

I got a job and kept my pregnancy secret for as long as I could because I didn’t think they’d want me to be there. I was so scared when I went into labor early because I knew I needed a few more weeks of salary to save up for my rent. Good Shepherd made sure we were covered, and gave me the time I needed to let my body heal after a c-section.

What has been your biggest blessing?

I’m thankful to have a shower and a bed every day. Good Shepherd has made sure we have diapers, clothing, food – the case worker even put furniture in my house from her own home. They helped me give my kids one of the best Christmases they’ve ever had.

My two youngest are living with me now, and I’m working to get my older two. I’ve moved closer to my mom’s house because I don’t want them to have to transition again. I’m taking my older son’s voice into consideration because he likes his school and he’s participating in activities.

I need my kids to see me continue to elevate because I want them to be the best humans they can be. I’ve always wanted to do better, be better, see better, feel better. There is always room for improvement in anyone’s life, and I want them to see me be serious about our future.