Two groups in Tri-Cities team up to help young parents
PASCO, Wash. - Every year more than 400 children are born to teen parents in the Tri-Cities.
Hope Home, a group that provides support for young parents had to shut its doors a few months ago but today they are back in business. They have teamed up with Catholic Family and Child Services Family Center to again provide necessary support for teen parents.
Teen pregnancy is a serious problem that has put our community at the top of the charts statewide.
18-year-old Amy Wutzke has a son who is one and a half. She said becoming pregnant changed her life, "I was scared and confused and at the same time I was excited because I was going to have a new baby. It was just a rack of emotions."
Wutzke said, "I considered for some time whether I was going to keep him or give him up for adoption. Having Hope Home there really helped me make that decision."
According to the group only one-third of teenage mothers complete high school. Wutzke is currently studying for her G.E.D.
She said, "It's kind of like a repetitive rut if you don't have education how do you get out."
Hope Home officials report an overwhelming majority of these young parents come from poor or low-income families.
Wutzke said the toughest part about being pregnant was worrying about how she was going to pay for the baby, "It's really hard to make money to provide for yourself much less for a son or child."
The group provides young parents with both financial and emotional support. They meet for weekly classes and share their personal experiences. The ultimate goal is to make these young parents self-sufficient.
Maureen McGrath is the Catholic Family and Child Service Agency Director. She said, "These resources are out there for them to link them up to the services they need the most."