Can I live at First Steps? If you are young and pregnant or parenting, our staff is always available, day or night, to answer your questions and assist you in finding the best housing options and community resources available to you, call 693-2229 (BABY).
693-BABY (2229) 24hr Helpline For pregnant or parenting young women in New Brunswick who need answers now!
Young, single women and their children represent the single largest group of people living in poverty in Saint John and they are likely to have become pregnant as teens, experienced broken homes or abusive situations and have ongoing coping or life skill challenges. These women are unlikely to finish high school, citing personal problems as their primary reason for dropping out, including pregnancy. These statistics are alarming, and indicate that the personal safety and security of these young mothers and their infants is in jeopardy.
First Steps Housing Project Inc (First Steps) was developed in Saint John because of the high teen pregnancy rate and the lack of support facilities for young women and their babies. These mothers and their children are in jeopardy of poverty, illness and abuse. First Steps provides a supportive environment where young mothers can continue their education, further their personal development and gain the skills required to thrive as individuals and as parents.
Why First Steps Housing Project Inc? To create a better community for us to live and offer long-term solutions in breaking the cycle of poverty, criminal activity, violence, abuse and dependence on the public system.
In Saint John New Brunswick, on May 22, 2002, First Steps Housing Project Inc opened its doors to homeless pregnant and parenting youth.
Saint John, New Brunswick has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Canada, and the birth rate in Saint John is almost 50% higher than the provincial average. For may years, the Greater Saint John Teen Pregnancy Committee, community organizations, non-profit agencies, and concerned citizens of Saint John have tried relentlessly to address the issue of teen pregnancy, primarily through preventative measures and educational methods.
These groups have seen some positive results from their efforts, showing a 19% reduction in teen pregnancy over the past five years. However, Saint John continues to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Canada; 43.7 babies per 1000 are born each year.
A group of Saint John business people who were committed to help combat the growing poverty problem in Greater Saint John established the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative. This group selected an independent party to identify initiatives that could best effect significant and ongoing reductions in poverty in the area. The study concluded that young, single women and their children represent the single largest group of people living in poverty in Saint John. They are likely to have become pregnant as teens, experienced broken homes or abusive situations and have ongoing coping or life skill challenges. Single mothers are unlikely to finish high school, citing personal problems as their primary reason for dropping out, including pregnancy. These statistics are alarming, and indicate that the personal safety and security of these young mothers and their infants is in jeopardy.
The aim of First Steps is to provide a supportive transitional housing facility for homeless pregnant youth and their infants. First Steps strives to ensure that homeless pregnant young women will have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby; and through partnering with existing community services will assist these young women in moving from homelessness to self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.