Maria first came to Casa del Carmen in October 2019 for parenting education classes. On that day, Maria, who was 4 months pregnant, was assigned a parenting educator, Triana, who remained by her side through joyous and very difficult periods. Maria stated that as a new mother from Mexico, in a foreign country, she wanted to prepare for the arrival of her baby. Triana connected Maria to a University Hospital for OB-GYN women’s health services.

Maria stated that she heard from her church that Casa del Carmen conducts parenting education classes and provides material items such as clothing, diapers and formula. Maria was surprised to know that Casa del Carmen also collaborates with other service organizations to provide cribs, bedding and car seats. During her first visit at Casa, Maria requested and received food and maternity clothing – she was overjoyed.

Maria attended weekly parenting education classes for 5 months and received the necessary materials to prepare her newborn’s bedroom. She spent many hours at Casa del Carmen and participated in health, financial, nutrition literacy classes and studied conversational English. Happy and healthy as she readied the birth of her baby, Maria’s daughter, Maria Estrella, was born on February 26, 2020.

After the birth of her baby, Triana and Maria continued to meet and thanks to the partnerships made through the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity (P-CHE), when necessary, referrals could be made to other community-based health centers for additional services.

Despite the pandemic obstruction to in-person medical office visits, quality healthcare services were still provided curbside due to the dedication of staff at Delaware Valley Community Health: Maria de los Santos.

In 2019, 2,980 moms accessed Pregnancy and Parenting Services at Casa del Carmen and through affiliate outreach centers. 98% of the patents are Latino/Hispanic and live in deep poverty.

The majority of Casa del Carmen’s clients are monolingual requiring culturally appropriate interpretation and translation of educational materials. All staff are bi-lingual and Casa del Carmen has been a safe-haven for decades for anyone in need based upon a statement of need.

Catholic Social Services traces its roots to colonial Philadelphia. The ten agencies of Catholic Social Services administer programs dedicated to serving men, women, and children in need. They are an expression of the charitable works of the local church. Services include residential treatment programs for at-risk children, family preservation services, foster care, adoption, immigration services, counseling, senior citizen centers, programming for the elderly, transitional housing, homeless services, and care for medically fragile men and women. We provide residential and community-based education programs to court-adjudicated youth, and sponsor residential and community-based care for persons who are developmentally delayed.