Big Decisions Don’t Have To Be Made Alone

Life is full of decisions.   Some of them come easily; we make them without much thought and little stress.  Some decisions are bigger and carry more significance and we may take a bit more time weighing the pros and cons before choosing a path or saying yes or no.  Then there are those choices and decisions that we may agonize over – decisions that will change the course of our future, take us down a path unknown, have long-term ramifications in our life and the lives of others. The staff and client advocates at the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre know all about how difficult some decisions can be — specifically when it comes to facing an unplanned pregnancy.  They have just reported that in 2014 they had over 1500 client visits at their Red Deer and Olds centres.  That is more than a 50 percent increase from 2013.

That translates into a lot of women (and men) facing a lot of uncertainty and big decisions.   Where can a woman go when she needs to talk to someone who will be non judgmental?  Who can a young girl ask about all those things she wishes she knew but gets different answers from all her girlfriends?  Where can a man turn when he finds out he is going to be a Dad — and he is not ready?  Where can a woman find hope and healing for a choice she made years ago that haunts and shames her?

Confidential and non-judgmental counsel and information is available to anyone coming into the Pregnancy Centre. Trained client advocates assist in exploring options available to women and men impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. They will  provide  accurate information on pregnancy, parenting, abortion procedures and risks, and adoption.  Ongoing support is given to clients regardless of the option they choose for as long as they are receptive to it.  Education and referrals are available one-on-one and through the programs listed below.  179 clients received options counselling in Red Deer and 13 in Olds last year.

Post Abortion Recovery Education (PARE) is a 10-week small group program which facilitates healing and peace for port-abortive women.  In Red Deer, 10 clients attended PARE and 4 clients attended in Olds.

Steps to Sexual Health Program is a 10-week individual program which provides restoration and a new perspective for women dealing with sexual misuse, trauma or abuse. In Red Deer, 33 clients attended this program in 2014 and 10 clients in Olds.

Pre-natal Education provides one-on-one support and information to prepare for childbirth. In Red Deer, 36 clients received this pre-natal education and this program will be implemented in Olds in the near future.

Male mentorship is one-on-one male counselling offered every Wednesday evening and is open to any male impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. 20 men received support in Red Deer and 7 in Olds.

Keys to Young Parenting is a 10-week group program which provides education and support to parents age 25 and under. Step Up is a drop-in group for parents who have been through the Keys program In Red Deer, 62 clients attended these programs and 9 in Olds.

This year will see a dream realized for the Central Alberta Pregnancy Centre with the opening of a home for clients who are expecting and need a safe and healthy community in which to live while they are pregnant.  After delivery, mom and baby will be able to access parenting and lifeskill support, again in a supportive community giving them the best start possible.

Through your generosity  in December with the Compassion Campaign, we will fulfill our commitment to the CAPCC for the full funding of the position hired to manage their housing program implementation. We have made a three-year commitment to this position.

The current building and vacant lot at 5112 and 5116 47th street has been secured and is now legally registered to CAPCC.

This housing project is the first in Canada to be attached to a Pregnancy Care Centre and will house up to 11 women and house parents in addition to all of their current operations and services.

The need for this is great — as historically in Central Alberta, housing for this demographic has not been addressed by any organization, agency or partnership.

The projected occupancy date for phase 1 is early fall 2015. Phase one is the renovation of the current building, which will house 4 women.

This spring there will be a call out for CrossRoads individuals and small groups to roll up their sleeves and give of their time, skills and physical labour in a variety of ways as this project moves forward.  There will also be opportunities to furnish and finish rooms and common areas that these young women will be moving into.

Currently and on a go forward basis, the CAPCC is in need of client advocates for both women and men who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy. On a long-term basis, this project requires persons willing to serve through mentoring, childcare, grounds and home maintenance and the leading of lifeskill sessions and Bible studies.

The choices made during pregnancy are big decisions. Only one person can make them, but they do not have to be alone. The pregnancy care centre is here for them. You can be a significant part of this as well through your involvement as a client advocate and the development of the housing project, or the many other opportunities for service the Centre has available. Please contact the Centre or myself for more information and stay tuned for how you can get involved with the Housing Project!

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