The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), together with the City Hall of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, inaugurated the first shelter for pregnant women and women who have recently given birth on the streets of the city. The service has been in operation since September 9. The unit, located in Betânia, in the western region of the capital, has the capacity to accommodate up to 20 people (mothers and children combined).
The initiative guarantees pregnant women, mothers, and babies social protection and medical follow-up. The service also aims to preserve the care of babies, together with their mothers, thus upholding the right to family life. In the case of pregnant women, all will have prenatal care, while those who have recently given birth will have all post-birth care guaranteed.
This community outreach is developed by the ADRA team with more than 20 employees, including coordinators, caregivers, social workers, and psychologists. All of them will help in the development of the autonomy of these women in vulnerability; therefore, this includes the possibility of referral to job openings and access to the education network. To achieve this goal, Ediane Lima, the coordinator of the reception unit, explains that the care is provided by paying attention to detail, and this makes all the difference.
"Each mother and child, when they arrive here, receives a bed and a closet with their name on it. We decorate their space with their own pictures. All this care and exclusivity gives them a warm welcome," explains Lima.
The referral of pregnant women or women who have recently given birth will be done by the teams from the Specialized Service of Social Work and the Street Clinic, which already monitor people living on the streets and map the cases of pregnant women. The vacancies to receive the service are designated for women who are seven months or longer into their pregnancy and mothers with children up to six years old.
The women will also have access to other services, projects, benefits, and the Single Registry—for inclusion or updating—income transfer, and other public policies, such as health, sports, culture, and leisure.