Lelum ‘u tu S’tsa’-elh teyt-en (House of the Honourable Mothers)
We wanted to share with you a little write up on an amazing initiative we have been supporting. You may have noticed the donate button on our webiste when you go to checkout or perhaps the sign at our front desk letting you know about our paper bag donation.
Here's one of the founders to tell you a bit more about what they are doing.
The House for Honourable Mothers is a residential program that offers supportive housing from a wraparound, holistic approach for pregnant women and mothers with infants.
Operated by Hiiye’yu Lelum Society, the primary goal is to keep moms and babies together and reduce the number of removals. The home is open to any pregnant woman or mom with a newborn or infant that is at risk of having her child go into alternative care, either into foster care or with family who are unable to also take the mother. The house offers 6 bedrooms and bathrooms, 2.5 kitchens, common spaces, counselling space, and outdoor areas. The home is staffed 24/7 and a variety of in-house and in-community programming are available.
Each week at the home women are able to attend parenting programs focused on attachment, individual and group counselling, food skills and budgeting sessions, weekly visits from the Public Health Nurse, and cultural programming from Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Moms can also access a community pharmacist, dietitian, and Indigenous Infant Development Worker on an as needed basis. Women are supported to access medical appointments, recreation, and connect with other families through community programming at Hiiye’yu Lelum. Women are able to tailor programming to suit their own needs and that of their children’s. As long as moms want to remain at the home and are participating in the daily rhythms of the home and programming, they are welcome to stay—there isn’t a minimum or maximum length of stay. When moms and babies are ready to leave, transitional support is provided to assist with reintegrating into the community.
Providing housing, support programming, and stability to moms and babies during the perinatal period is a dream come true. While we know that it certainly won’t solve all of our problems, we do know that having these types of supports available during this critical period reduces stress levels, has a positive impact on infant brain development, and improves maternal and infant health.