SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - What was going to be the first baby’s first Christmas at The Living Vine has quickly gotten more crowded.
"Just in October,’’ said Living Vine office manager Alexandra Clarke, “we went from having one resident having her baby to bringing in the other two ladies with their children. So, it went from zero to 100.’’
Two months ago, Dee was the first young lady able to take advantage of a new after-care program at The Living Vine, the Savannah Home for single pregnant women.
But since then there has been a veritable baby boom at the house and immediate family for Dee and little Athena Rose.
"it's going great. Us girls have been really close,’’ Dee said of the two pregnant women who have moved in since she gave birth. Both have toddlers and one already had her baby. “It's great, I love them. They've become like sisters to me.’’
At six weeks post-delivery, Dee is already at the point where she would have had to leave the Living Vine.
But certification that came through earlier this year created the Living Hope Program, which enables women to stay for up to two years with their children. That program is already providing hope to several young families.
"That would have been crazy, a little hectic, because at the time I didn't really know what I wanted to do,’’ said Dee. “So, I don't think leaving would have been a good idea, so I'm glad they started the after care.’’
And she's glad to share this special season with The Living Vine and everyone filling the home with joy right now.
"it's a little hectic in the house lately, but it's awesome,’’ said Dee. “It’s a lot more excitement.’’
"it's really great,’’ added Clarke. “It's fun to see and it’s like having our own little family unit, just making sure that the house is ready with all the decorations and making sure that we are keeping the holiday spirit.’’
They also are building a sense of security that will extend to every time of year at The Living Vine.
"The best part is knowing that I am being given a chance to give this one a good life,’’ said Dee. “And myself too, but my main focus is her. For Athena, it’s a safe place to be, a safe place for me to raise her up in her first couple of years. But it’s good to have the ladies, I trust them. Sometimes, I just walk up and hand her off to them. So, it’s a good place to feel that I can trust people around me and not worry.’’