Catholic Social Services
“I want my daughter to depend on me, not ‘we’ depending on someone else. I plan to do everything right for her, and this program definitely lifted me up to be able to do that!” — Stanyal Shay, Resident at Shepherd’s Maternity House, East Stroudsburg
“When Stanyal came to us, we knew she was motivated to change her situation and make a better life for herself and her unborn child,” said Jessica Dobinson, Shepherd’s Maternity House Program Director.
Stanyal’s adoptive mother died when she was 11. Stanyal moved around, living with different relatives. At 17, she was homeless yet determined to graduate high school. Stanyal graduated and began working two jobs and was able to get her own apartment but an auto accident left her unable to keep up. Finding herself homeless again and two months pregnant, she was “very scared”.
A friend told her about Shepherd’s Maternity House where pregnant women in crisis find shelter and support during their pregnancy. The staff worked with Stanyal to develop self-sufficiency and parenting skills.
But there were more challenges. During a doctor’s visit at 28 weeks, Stanyal found out that her baby had a heart defect known as Heterotaxy Syndrome where some organs form on the wrong side of the body affecting the functioning of the heart. When Stanyal learned her baby would need special care, she asked: “Could I handle this?” With the staff’s help and the support of her friends, the answer was “yes”. Her daughter, Jayda, was born on April 22.
“This is a blessing,” exclaims Stanyal. “She’s a fighter, like me.”