New transitional residential housing program for expectant and new moms a first in the Fox Valley
Vida Medical Clinic and Support Services will expand its services with the addition of maternity housing in the Fox Valley in 2023. The first-of-its-kind in the Fox Valley, Vida’s transitional residential maternity housing program will meet a growing need for stable, safe housing for pregnant women and new moms who are at-risk for homelessness.
“When providing care to our patients and clients in our other programs at Vida, we regularly hear them speak of their housing needs and concerns. This maternity home program will further expand the loving, compassionate and empowering education and support we already provide,” Vida Executive Director Anne Tretinyak said.
With a shortage of affordable and transitional housing available in the region, housing has become an increasingly difficult problem for individuals to solve and can be a barrier to improving quality of life, health and overall well-being for individuals and families. Lack of safe housing, unhealthy relationships, limited financial resources, lack of family support and cycles of poverty, abuse, or addiction can leave women who are unexpectedly pregnant or facing challenges parenting young children feeling they have no options, support or hope.
“Maternity housing profoundly affirms the dignity of mothers and children and reminds them of their inherent value. Combined with integrated programming and services through Vida, this maternity home will be a place of love, growth and empowerment,” Tretinyak said. “Women will be a part of a safe, loving community and participate in life-changing programming that builds career and relational skills. The support they receive will improve the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their children.”
Located at W2613 and W2629 Barney Court, Appleton, the property purchased by Vida for the maternity home features two buildings and is currently undergoing minor renovations to prepare to welcome its first residents later this year. The maternity home will have individual bedrooms and bathrooms for each resident/mother and their child or children, a common kitchen, dining room and living space for group activities, laundry facilities and a large yard. Upon renovation, Vida will be able to house eight to ten mothers in the first year of operation, with room for program expansion as needed.
Women will be able to be a part of this free transitional residential maternity housing program during pregnancy and for a pre-determined time after giving birth that correlates with important infant developmental milestones. Programming will equip and empower residents with pregnancy and parenting support and education on topics such as childbirth, nutrition, financial planning, life skills and healthy relationships. Program staff will also assist residents with career and education development. Transportation will be provided to/from medical appointments and other appointments related to accessing community resources. Vida Medical Clinic nurses will also assist with labor and delivery instruction and lactation consultation. Material support including free diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs, highchairs, etc. will also be available to residents.
“Our maternity home will provide a welcoming, fully furnished and family-oriented environment, where every woman and child is unconditionally loved and their inherent value recognized and respected,” Tretinyak said. “By integrating medical and social support services programming directly into our maternity housing program, we aim to have our residents achieve better outcomes for both maternal and infant long-term health and well-being.”
Following a resident’s stay in the maternity home, they will be encouraged to continue to engage and utilize the free services and programs already offered by Vida.
During recent years, Vida has served thousands of women, men and families from across the Fox Valley and northeast Wisconsin. Vida’s main center is located at 720 W. Association Dr., Appleton. All Vida services and programs are provided free of charge to patients and clients. Services include pregnancy testing; ultrasound imaging; Pap, pelvic and breast exams; STD testing and treatment; lactation consultation; abortion pill reversal; support services to pregnant women and parents of infants and young children; post-abortion support and healing; onsite childcare; material support through an onsite store with diapers, clothes, baby items, and more; and community outreach through a sexual education and integrity program.
Vida hopes to open the maternity home and welcome residents in the summer of 2023. Individuals, family foundations and businesses interested in donating and supporting the maternity home project are encouraged to contact Executive Director Anne Tretinyak at [email protected] or 920-731-4354 to learn more and explore giving options.
For information about the maternity home addition and Vida, visit www.vidamedicalclinic.org/maternity-home.