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As we celebrate the mothers and mother-figures in our lives this season, we invite you to join us in honoring the incredible young mothers in Covenant House Georgia’s new Pregnant and Parenting Youth Program! For young women like Nesha, a lot of the beauty that comes with early motherhood was overshadowed by the struggle to provide a stable and healthy home for herself and her new daughter, Layla.

Before coming to Covenant House Georgia (CHGA), Nesha didn’t have a consistent safe place for herself and Layla to sleep. They bounced between the homes of family members as Nesha searched diligently for somewhere she and Layla could call home. Nesha was determined to protect and provide for Layla and knew there was a better way. When her familial resources ran out, Nesha learned about CHGA from a fellow nonprofit, Families First.

We launched our Pregnant and Parenting Youth Program in May 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. As it turns out, we did so just in time for Nesha and Layla to find us in October 2020!

When Nesha arrived at CHGA with Layla in her arms, she was overwhelmed with relief. The weight of wondering where they would sleep, what they would eat, and how they would survive was lifted. Nesha says that she felt welcomed into a “homey and spacious,” apartment, and without the constant worry and stress, Nesha and Layla have been thriving!

Their apartment is filled with books for Layla, who loves to be read to. Layla is a beautiful, healthy, smart toddler who loves her momma more than anything. Nesha, meanwhile, is planning to attend the Culinary Arts program at Westside Works and ultimately wants to get a Child Development Associate certificate in hopes of one day opening her own daycare center.

Nesha says, “I felt there were supports in my life that were missing from family, but I’m determined to ensure that my daughter doesn’t feel that way.” At CHGA, she is building a network of vital resources to provide for Layla and working towards her goals. She’s enjoying weekly group meetings and connecting with other young parents in the program to discuss their life experiences and lean on each other as they move towards self-sufficiency.