CHICAGO (CBS) — The budget crisis is taking a human toll.
CBS’s 2 Jim Williams reports on one program for young, low-income moms that has now been shut down.
It seems so natural now: Jhoana Galicia’s care for her two year old son Christian.
But as a pregnant teenager, she says she needed help.
And she got it at Erie Family Health Center, which taught her parenting skills–from nutrition, or how to handle a child’s tantrum or how to get the right medical care for a young child.
“They taught me what it is to be a parent,” Galicia said. “How to be a parent.”
When the program’s state funding stopped last July, with no end in sight to the budget stalemate, the center’s Healthy Families Program ended this spring.
“This was a heartbreaking decision for sure,” said Amy Valukas, xxxxx
“In the first year of life, it is a challenging time, It is a tiring time and for our young women who do not have a safety net.”
Galicia had that safety net at a crucial time in her life, when she says she didn’t have the support of her family.
“I feel like this program has helped me as a parent and as a person,” Galicia said.
Galicia says because of the program she learned early her son had a speech impairment.
The program’s advocates say there’s an enormous long-term cost when pregnant women are not healthy and their children are not healthy.