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Organization Focuses on Homeless Young Mothers | News

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Organization Focuses on Homeless Young Mothers

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- Teenage pregnancy is on the rise in Nevada and some young moms are left with no family or resources to help them. Fortunately. there's a local non-profit organization focusing on their needs.

Southern Nevada Children First provides the teens with a home, responsibility and life skills.

 "I've been learning how to speak up for myself and just being able to get myself more focused and going to counseling so I don't get in the same situation I was in before," said Stephanie, a new mom who wanted to keep her last name private.

The 22-year-old says she grew up being molested and abused by family members and finally ran away. She ended up moving between group homes in Las Vegas and California. Nine months ago, she showed up at Southern Nevada Children first and she was four months pregnant.

She lives in the organization's temporary home in North Las Vegas and will soon move into one of the organization's new apartments. The clients take a 32-week life skills class and they're forced to work or go to school.

"We teach them resume writing, how to dress for an interview, what to say and not to say, work ethics, why it's important to go to work everyday, not just when you feel like it or you're having a good day. Ultimately our goal for all of our girls is self-sufficiency," said Monique Harris, founder of Southern Nevada Children First.

When the non-profit started four years ago, it helped a handful of women. Last year, the group served more than 250 women between 16 and 22 years old in the temporary home and drop-in center on Cheyenne.

The 10-person staff tries to reconnect the young women with family to get them in a more permanent home. There's a special event this weekend to help out called Artfully Sweet to raise money for the organization.