Shaniqua Ballard's Story

Helping Mothers and Children With a Families Center in Washington, D.C.

Dates of Project: October 1996 to June 2007

Field of Work: Providing health and social support services to low-income young women and their families.

Synopsis of the Work: The Developing Families Center in Washington, D.C., provided health and social support services to young women and their families in the city's low-income, African-American neighborhoods through three collaborative programs:

  • A birth center offering maternity, well-woman, and pediatric care
  • A community-based organization providing counseling, home visitation, and case-management services
  • A child development program providing day care for children ages six weeks through three years

Story Told: Shaniqua Ballard was living without much hope in a shelter for pregnant women, with little money and no health insurance, until she discovered the Developing Families Center, where she received obstetric and well-woman care, and enrolled her children in the child development program. "It was just a welcoming atmosphere," said Ballard in an interview in 2008, "and I've been here since 2001." This sidebar tells her story.