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The Lund Family Center Honors Young Mothers who have Beat the Odds

Source:, 6/7/11, Jennifer Reading “We were evicted from our apartment. Her father was in Afghanistan and I got laid off,” Madison Bezanson said. A string of unfortunate events landed Bezanson, 20, and her 2-week-old daughter at the Lund Home. And she’s not alone. “I was kind of lost and clueless as to what to do as a single mother,” Victoria Hammond said. “The young women we serve have so much potential,” said Barbara Rachelson, the executive director of the Lund Center. Rachelson says the goal is to harness that potential by offering educational opportunities, job counseling, child care, life skills and rehab all under one roof. Today, they’re celebrating the victories. Lund started as a maternity home back in 1890. It has since evolved into a comprehensive treatment facility for young pregnant women struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. Administrators say they’ve worked hard over that 120-year history to change public perception. “We don’t hide women in the bushes,” Rachelson said. “We don’t make our residents wear a wedding ring when they go out and make pretend.” The moms here couldn’t be more grateful for the care they’ve received. But there is one lesson on parenthood they say surpasses all others. “It’s amazing and rewarding but it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I don’t regret it but I wish I would have waited,” Bezanson said. “I was in the health classes and I listened to an older woman speak about sex and I always thought to myself that won’t happen to me,” Hammond said. Now Hammond goes into area schools and shares her story, hoping it will make kids think twice about having sex. But today is her last day at Lund– after seven months she’s being discharged. “We are hopeful and we know the realities of how difficult it can be,” Rachelson said. For many of these women going home will means returning to the challenging situations they escaped. Hammond says she determined to beat the odds. “I’m just ready to be independent and to prove to myself and to my family and to Lund that I can take what I’ve learned here and move forward,” she said…” Click here for video: The Lund Center Honors Young Mothers who have Beat the Odds

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