AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University students with unplanned pregnancies now have a place to go to help them through the process.
Baby Steps was created to provide support to Auburn University students for mothers and fathers who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, the Opelika-Auburn News reported . The nonprofit is renting a five-bedroom house opened in September and is located near the university’s campus.
The organization was founded by couple Matt and Michelle Shultz, who have spent the past 15 years ministering to teens and college students. The couple felt compelled to open house after having several experiences with students dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
“It’s just an unrecognized population of women and men that are finding themselves in unplanned pregnancies that need help so they can get their education,” Michelle Shultz said. “We just wanted to allow an avenue that would allow them to not feel so trapped, so they can have their baby and have their education.”
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The house is ready for full-time student mothers who are 18 or older and have no other child dependents. They are welcome to stay at the home from their child’s birth until the child is one year of age.
Sarah Hirschseldt, a Baby Steps staffer, said the mothers will be provided rent-free housing, free meals, child care, tutoring and other support during that year. Once the child nears their first birthday, the organization will help the mother during her transitioning phase out the home.
“They could walk in right now and live there,” Shultz said.