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Goodwill program partners low-income mothers with nurses

Posted: 6:32 AM, Mar 15, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-15 10:34:50Z
Program helps first-time moms facing hardships
Program helps first-time moms facing hardships

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Goodwill Industries program called the Nurse-Family Partnership pairs nurses with low-income women who are pregnant with their first child to make sure the mother and baby get all the help they need.

The program has helped mothers like 19-year-old Faith Hardiman, mother of 7-month-old Nehemiah. The new mom admits she's facing her fair share of issues while trying to raise her son, like homelessness and unemployment. But she is still determined to do the best she can.

"Every day I wake up and I feel motivated," she said. "What am I going to do to give him the stability that I never had? What goals will I set for myself to make me better so that he can be better?"

That's where Robin Coleman, the nurse paired with Hardiman, comes in.

"It's easy for me to connect with them because I grew up in the same kind of environment, dealing with some of the same issues," Coleman said. 

Coleman's home visits to see Hardiman will continue through Nehemiah's second birthday. Her goal is to give the family access to resources like health care, financial matters and education.

"I feel like it's a privilege to serve," Coleman said. "These people need us the most."

While Indiana ranks No. 45 out of 50 states for infant mortality, more than 600 families are enrolled in the program locally.

"We want to help get her on board so that she can be the right kind of parent and expose him to the right kind of environment so that he can have well-being as well."

By age 6, participants are nearly 70 percent less likely to have behavioral or intellectual issues as the children growing up in similar circumstances. Hardiman's hope is to be self-sufficient, so her son can have a better life.

"Every time we meet, I leave feeling more inspired and motivated to take care of Nehemiah," she said.

For more information on the Nurse-Family Partnership, click here.