For many young or teenage mothers, raising and providing for a child can be challenging.
Thankfully, young moms in Metro Detroit are finding help from those who’ve been there before them.
“I needed help with a lot of things,” Zoria Hutchins said. “I didn’t have anywhere to stay. I didn’t have any money.”
Life has been tough for Hutchins ever since she became pregnant with her first child at 18 years old. Now, the mother has found herself homeless with her three children ages 1, 2 and 4. The family of four spends each day living and sleeping in her car.
“This time, I really have no support and nowhere to go,” Hutchins said. “My car is messed up, the engine went out. I can’t work, so feeding them and having somewhere for them to go -- that’s really the biggest problem.”
Tyra Moore, 29, knows the same struggle that Hutchins is facing. When she got pregnant at just 15 years old, Moore hid the fact that she was expecting from her entire family throughout her pregnancy. Moore says her mother only found out she was pregnant when she was giving birth.
She went about the pregnancy alone and delivered a healthy baby girl. Now a married woman with three biological children and a step-child, Moore promised herself that she would help other young mothers who have found themselves in similar situations like hers and Hutchins.’
Just over two years ago, Moore started the nonprofit A Girl Like Me Inc.
“A Girl Like Me Inc. is a nonprofit organization that helps girls, teens, teen moms and young moms up until the age of 25 years old,” Moore said. “A lot of the moms who come into contact with me are teenagers. They haven’t told their parents and they feel comfortable telling me because they know I’ve went through the situation.”
Moore and her team of moms help provide the young moms with free diapers, wipes, feminine products, bottles, milk, baby food, new and gently used baby clothes and more. Now they’re signing Hutchins up for the free diaper program as she navigates through this difficult time.
“I was really grateful because I’m a shy person and I didn’t really want to go to any of these other programs like shelters,” Hutchins said.
With help from local and national businesses, and donations from the community, A Girl Like Me Inc. has been able to provide for more than 350 young moms. Hutchins wants other young moms in situations like hers to know there is help out there.
“You just have to think about financially; you have to think about your support system,” Hutchins said. “Just make sure that you are prepared.”
Moore says that she has helped mothers as young as 11 years old, and works to meet the needs of each mom. A Girl Like Me Inc. has helped send money to cover bills or even put girls up in hotels for the night.
Moore’s long-term goal is to buy a home where young moms can stay until they get on their feet.
If you are a young mom, or know a mom that needs help, visit A Girl Like Me Inc.’s website here for more information.