By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A ribbon cutting today in Roxborough brings a new start for homeless teenage mothers and their children. Renovations at a social service agency there are giving them access to permanent housing.
“I began my journey three years ago,” noted eighteen-year-old Brittany Chokpelle at today’s ceremony. She was still in high school when she came to Northern Children’s Services three years ago with her infant son. Now, she’ll be one of the residents of the 12 bright, new units on the agency’s campus.
“I repeatedly think to myself, where would my son and I be without Northern Children’s Services?” Chokpelle said today. “Also I think, who would have thought that strangers would extend so much unconditional love and support to my son and I?”
The two-year, $5-million renovation doubles the agency’s capacity to house teenage mothers, while providing support services such as job training and parenting classes.
Tracey Lavallias, the CEO of Northern Children’s Services, says he hopes the new facility will bring their children a better future.
“We can give their kids an opportunity to start life out in a better place,” he said today. “They don’t have to experience what their parents experienced, and their parents’ parents experienced. It’s life changing.”