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Home / News / Alicia’s Story
October 4, 2022
When Alicia found out that she was unexpectedly pregnant, she was new to Edmonton and only recently re-connected with her mom.
“When I came over here, I didn’t really have anything, and I was just starting my life over. I didn’t think I could have children…When he came, I was really scared,” Alicia says.
Through Norwood Centre’s Parent Respite program, Alicia accessed drop-in childcare so she could recharge and work toward her future while her son, Ace, could socialize with other kids and access quality early-childhood education.
Because of funding through United Way, Norwood Centre provides the highest quality childcare possible. By accessing affordable childcare, parents can take time for themselves to meet their own needs, whether that means running errands alone, accessing mental health support, or pursuing further education.
“We’re very well put together, I would say, for a single [parent] family. If I didn’t have Norwood, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today because I wouldn’t have had those resources to be able to get out of my situation,” Alicia says.
In addition, United Way funding means Norwood can match each Parent Respite participant with a family support worker. The family support worker matched with Alicia and Ace helped them find their own townhouse, and Ace can go to Norwood Centre while Alicia goes to school to become a nurse.
“Having them get that break from care, from their children, allows them to meet goals that they need in order to move forward,” shares Kathy Burgett, program director at Norwood Centre.
“The families bring this strength. We’re not the magic…Truly, it’s the families that meet their goals.”
Thanks to United Way supporters, families like Alicia and Ace are empowered and supported while they build a bright future for themselves.
After coming to Canada as a Syrian refugee, Moumenah took part in an Empower U course at Islamic Family to better understand finances in Canada. Empower U is a United Way program that provides participants with financial literacy training and a matched savings program.
Nevaeh discovered a love of cooking through the United Way-funded Community Kitchen Program delivered by the Alberta Parenting for the Future Association. But she also found a place where she could thrive, in turn building her confidence and resilience.