Somewhere to Turn

When Lexi found out she was pregnant, panic washed over her.

In nine months, she’d need to stabilize her life enough to care for a baby.

In nine months, she’d need to find a stable place to live and a consistent income.

In nine months, she’d be a mom.

But Lexi’s panic quickly turned to a lightbulb moment: she could turn to LSI for help. LSI had given her hope in the past, and she needed a shoulder to lean on now more than ever.

Lexi first connected with LSI in high school almost 10 years ago, when she was removed from her parents’ home and placed in foster care. She was forced to leave her home, family, and friends behind and adjust to life somewhere new. Combined with the day-to-day stress of school, the experience was too much for Lexi, and she struggled to cope. She was connected to LSI’s Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS).

Lexi’s BHIS worker, Melissa, met with her at school once a week to practice healthy communication and coping skills to address the trauma of being separated from her family. Through their regular meetings over the course of a year and half, Lexi became more comfortable opening up, addressing her trauma, and talking through what she was feeling. But after high school, Lexi was met with a new set of challenges.

When she turned 18, Lexi lost eligibility for BHIS services and felt alone again as she attempted to navigate the adult world on her own. Stressed and overwhelmed, she struggled to make healthy choices.

Then, Lexi’s life hit an all-time low and she spent a brief time in prison.

After she was released, she was determined to turn her life around. When she learned she was pregnant, her conviction deepened. Life wasn’t just about her anymore. She had someone else to worry about. Lexi knew she needed parenting education, guidance, and support to prepare for this next chapter in her life.

First, Lexi reconnected with her former foster parents, Kelli and Brent, who are currently supporting more Iowa children through LSI’s Foster Care and Adoption services. Together, they contacted the family’s LSI worker to see what services LSI offered to expecting mothers.

Soon, Lexi discovered LSI’s Early Childhood Services. She enrolled immediately.

“I needed this support to welcome my first child,” she says. “I had such a great first experience with LSI, and I knew I could trust them to guide me in this stage of life.”

LSI’s Early Childhood Services provide in-home parenting education for parents of young children or parents who are expecting. Every week, Lexi’s LSI worker, Gretchen, shares resources and helpful tips and tricks to make sure Lexi feels empowered and confident during her pregnancy and her child’s early years. The program also connects Iowans like Lexi to community resources like support groups, affordable housing, food pantries, and career development programming.

Gretchen and Lexi worked together to prepare Lexi for job interviews and make sure she was receiving appropriate prenatal care to be ready for her new baby.

All their hard work paid off. Lexi started a job she loves and moved into her own apartment earlier this spring. The home is filled with baby toys and clothing, and on May 14, she welcomed Javeah into the world. Lexi continues to see Gretchen every week and she loves nothing more than snuggling up and reading to her child.

“LSI pointed me in the right direction and has been with me every step of the way as I’ve found where I need to be,” Lexi says. “I know LSI has my best interest at heart. I always have someone to call when I need help.”

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