Vibrant Communities In Focus
Image Credit: Tobi Asmoucha
[Alpha House of Northumberland for Young Mothers] Alpha House of Northumberland for Young Mothers is a four-bedroom house in Cobourg that opened in 2005 with an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. Anne Marie Bouthillette says it’s a special place for young mothers and their babies. “They come after hearing about us from a friend or counsellor. The average age is seventeen and most didn’t have great parenting themselves. A lot were foster kids; some were homeless. They need mentoring and support. They can stay until their babies are eighteen months old. If you don’t have to worry about paying rent and buying food, you can take time to become a good mom and start to make plans for the future. We give the girls the grounding to make better decisions and have faith in themselves.” Mandy and her baby girl, Dayna, spent time at Alpha House in 2007. “This is a good place — a nice, normal house where we do chores. I had no idea how to cook or clean up. Now I know how. And I can make really good potato salad and decent shepherd’s pie. My baby is excellent. She’s doing really good. In September, I’m moving into my own place. I’m going to finish high school and then I’m going to college. June’s been helping me. She’s taken me to yard sales and found free stuff. They talk to you here. They give you advice. They listen and they honestly care what happens to me and Dayna.”