Seven apartments for single young mothers and their babies will be part of the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre’s new maternity home and expansion.
The Christian-based non-profit that helps young girls and women carry unexpected pregnancies to term is in the second stage of a $3.3 million building project in downtown Red Deer.
Last year, the charity renovated a building at 5116-47th Street to include four bedrooms with attached bathrooms. These are already serving as temporary housing for single mothers with little financial or emotional support, and operate with 24/7 staffing.
Executive-director Anne Waddell said the idea behind the first stage of the project was to provide places where young clients can stay for up to six months. When their babies start needing more room, they will move into one of seven new suites being constructed on the second and third floors of a new addition.
Waddell said this second-phase is going up on empty land next to the reno-ed building, and will be connected to it when completed in August.
The seven suites will include kitchens and living areas. Single mothers, age 13 to 25, can live in them for up to two years, paying for board based on their means. Waddell said a child care program, staffed by volunteers, will also be offered downstairs to allow the young women to attend work or classes.
The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre, with 13 staff and satellite outlets in Olds and Rocky Mountain House, will move its programs to this site this summer. The charity that started in 1988 runs a variety of classes, including on sexual health and parenting, a clothing boutique, and helps connect young mothers to community resources. Waddell said the only thing the organization will not help with is abortions. But it welcomes women who need post-abortion counselling.
The maternity home project is funded by private donations. Sixty per cent of costs were already raised. A theatrical benefit April 6-8 at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre will help make up the difference.
Andrew Kooman, a Red Deer native living in Ontario, created an original musical, What We Didn’t Know, directed by Annette Bradley and Laura Geelen. It focuses on people who surmounted obstacles, including athlete/missionary Eric Liddell, featured in the film Chariots of Fire.
Admission is free, but donations will be collected. Tickets must be reserved by calling 403-343-1611. (They can also be picked up at Kennedy’s Parables in Gasoline Alley, or 53rd Street Music).