Although that number is half of what it was two decades ago, teenage pregnancy is still an issue that affects far too many young women in Michigan. Many of these young women have stressful home environments. Some are even homeless.
That's where the Teen Parent Center comes in. Located on the east side of Grand Rapids, The Center is one of the few shelters in Michigan that young mothers can turn to for help. The Center is part of the Salvation Army's Booth Family Services, which offers a number of programs.
Monica is a young mother who lives with her son Anthony at the shelter. She says the program has helped her son tremendously. "He knows half of his alphabet, he knows how to count, he knows like the animal sounds, he knows all his body part," Tovar says. "And I didn't teach him. They taught him in daycare."
Monica and Anthony live in the shelter with four other young women and their children. It's not always pretty. Many of the young women move into the shelter to escape heated family arguments. When they arrive at The Center, though, they have a tendency to clash with the other girls and the staff.
To learn more about the experiences of the young women living at the Teen Parent Center, visit State of Opportunity.
- Jordan Medina, Michigan Radio Newsroom