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Bayard House program, Catholic Charities gain grant to help needy

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Malooly
Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Del., holds 1-week-old Alijah Sutton's bottle for his mother, Kala Sutton, as he gives her a Christmas gift during Bishop Malooly's annual Advent Dinner with the residents of Bayard House in Wilmington, Del., in 2011. (CNS photo/Don Blake) (Dec. 20, 2011)

Catholic Charities, Inc., of the Diocese of Wilmington, has received a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. The $200,000 per-year grant will support Catholic Charities Bayard House program, the only licensed residential maternity program in Delaware for homeless, pregnant and newly parenting adolescents and young women, according to a news release.

Funding will provide the supportive services necessary to successfully transition homeless, pregnant, and parenting youth (ages 16 to under 22) and their dependent children to self-sufficiency and well-being. The program’s major goals are the delivery of a healthy baby and the creation of a stable household. Clients will succeed by acquiring stable housing, completing their education, gaining employment, and learning and implementing successful parenting and infant care skills, officials said.

“Catholic Charities is delighted to receive this funding,” said Richelle A. Vible, Executive Director. “Homelessness for pregnant women puts two generations at risk. The Bayard House program has demonstrated that with appropriate care and supportive services, we can effectively break the cycle of homelessness and abuse these young women have experienced and help them provide better lives for themselves and their children. The decision to fund this program with federal money is an affirmation of the Bayard House program’s positive impact in our community.”

Clients in the Bayard House program receive daily guidance from a case manager and direct service staff in a homelike environment. Clients and staff work together to create an individualized service plan that will help the client achieve her self-selected goals. Through intensive support from all staff, the client learns to define her strengths, recognize opportunities for growth, and create solutions to the obstacles she faces in her journey towards self-sufficiency.

Catholic Charities has operated Bayard House since 2004, and has served a total of 442 people: 329 mothers-to-be or new mothers, 98 newborns, and 15 toddlers.

To learn more about Bayard House, please visit Catholic Charities website, www.cdow.org/charities.

Established in 1830 as St. Peter’s Orphanage in Wilmington, Catholic Charities’ services have grown from the care of orphaned children to include providing care for those facing complex social problems such as chronic poverty, homelessness, hunger, mental illness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy. The agency serves over 80,000 individuals each year throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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