For most of Asha’s adult life, she had a steady job and roof over her head. A few years ago, she experienced a whirlwind of life events that seemed to go from bad to worse. At the time, Asha was raising a young son and was expecting her second child. Her work suddenly became unstable, and the rent of the apartment she shared with a relative kept going up. One day she returned from work to learn that her family member had moved out, leaving her with a rent bill she could not possibly afford. Pregnant, very scared, and left with no other choice, Asha moved into a shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
While Asha had little control over much of her life, her shelter was in the neighborhood of one of Public Health Solutions’ (PHS) Sexual and Reproductive Health Centers (formerly MIC Women’s Health Services). Our Reproductive Health Centers have provided prenatal and family planning services to community members like Asha for over 50 years. Their mission is to provide comprehensive, patient-centered, and high-quality care for expecting mothers and newborns—regardless of their ability to pay.
“They told me I was in the right place.”
Asha was relieved to find the center to be clean, calm, and welcoming.
“I was very stressed out, and didn’t know what tomorrow would bring. I had never been in a situation like this before. I felt like I couldn’t think straight. I explained my situation, all that was going on in my life, and they told me I was in the right place.”
The staff assured Asha that she would receive the most quality care, no matter her income or life situation. In fact, both centers are awarded Level 3 recognition as Patient-Centered Specialty Practices (PCSP) by the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA), and they keep a promise to provide each and every patient with the best care possible. They would take good care of her during and after her pregnancy. Finally, Asha caught a break.
As a patient at the Reproductive Health center, Asha received regular prenatal check-ups, needed immunizations, and medicine for her anemia. “They wanted to make sure every aspect of my pregnancy was going ok. They called to check up on me—a lot. They treated me very well.” After Asha’s daughter was born, the center provided family planning counseling and birth control options.
She believes that the most valuable service she received was mentorship and extra support. “My mentor was with me one on one. She understood me and my experience, and supported me through it.”
“The staff will forever be like family to me.”
Today, Asha is back on her feet and excited about her future. She is living in her own home with her healthy son and daughter, and works as a paralegal. She aspires to open her own clothing boutique one day. Asha says that while she is out of that dark place her my life, she still visits the center often.
“They always want to see my daughter! The staff will forever be like family to me.”
Asha never thought that she would be living in a shelter as a young mother. But she found the strength and courage to endure an incredibly difficult time, and get back to the life she wanted for her family. Here at Public Health Solutions, we believe that every expecting mother deserves the highest quality services. More than that, we go the extra mile for women like Asha who may need special support and care during the hard seasons in life.