Expectant moms get free help at Women's Resource Center

By Rebecca Powers – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you are pregnant or think you might be, there's a place in Gulfport giving free prenatal care and classes, even free baby clothes and furniture. Three full time staff members and almost 20 volunteers run the non-profit place called the Women's Resource Center.

This year alone, they served an astounding 3,000 clients. They say their lips are sealed and their doors are open to anyone who may need them.

Nina Ard has been a Women's Resource Center client for four years.

"Yeah, I love it here," Ard said.

In 2006, she already had a one-year-old and thought she might pregnant again. Broke and scared, she came to the center and found everything she needed to be great a mom, getting free child care classes and shopping trips to the boutique.

"I ended up getting a crib, I ended up getting a play pen, diapers, blankets bottles, anything I needed for the baby," Ard said.

But the Center's Director Tricia Hubbard is quick to point out it wasn't really free. Nina and her husband got "boutique bucks" for completing the Earn While You Learn Program.

"We reward them for coming to class on time, by completing their lessons, by doing their homework, by keeping their doctors appointments," Tricia Hubbard said.

And in some cases a nurse on staff also gives free ultrasounds, so parents can see their child's development and tiny heart beating. And everything said or seen at the center is held highly confidential.

"We want this to be a safe harbor for those that are scared and seeking answers," Hubbard said.

And many clients remain a part of their family. Nina Ard is now a mom of three healthy, happy, growing boys, and still earns bucks and trips to the boutique. She's proud of what she's become and gives much of the credit to her friends at the Women's Resource Center. Her kids are thriving, her husband has a great job and she's even in nursing school now.

"Yes, they're like my support, and I just love them all," Ard said.

You can find the Women's Resource Center on Lorraine Road in Gulfport between I-10 and Pass Road, or you can give them a call at (228) 897-8958.

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