You have a voice. Know that. And, know that it’s OK to use it. That’s the message Morgan Chalifoux hopes to inspire in the women she works with everyday.
Healthy, Empowered, Resilient — H.E.R. supports pregnant, street-involved women throughout their pregnancies and up to six months postpartum, creating the healthiest possible environment for them and their children.
Morgan has been with H.E.R. since its inception six years ago. It was inspired by another program called “Women in the Shadows” that, from 2008 to 2010, worked with pregnant, street-involved women to help them access vital healthcare services, particularly STI testing.
“Within that two years, there was a greater need shown not only medically, but with everything else — socially, housing, family, mental health, even just knowing how to have a voice and knowing that it is possible,” explained Morgan.
And so, H.E.R. was formed. Now, support staff like Morgan work one-on-one with moms to help them become as safe and healthy as possible, whether that’s navigating child services by their side, coordinating transportation to prenatal appointments or simply listening.
“For me, it’s just seeing the moms and them bonding with their kids,” said Morgan. “Seeing that light, even after they have been broken, battered, abused, depleted, their power taken away from them.”
“Yes, maybe they’re lost in every sense, but it’s still OK. If anything, that makes you a better person because it’s not easy to go through trauma like that and to come back and still be a bright, shining person.”
Support the H.E.R. Pregnancy Program. Donate to the endowment fund set up through the Edmonton Community Foundation.