By Allyson Hunter
Earlier this year, Canadian real estate developer Gene Dub donated an entire building with 18 apartments to house pregnant moms with nowhere else to go. According to the Edmonton Journal, his donation is worth about $3 million. The apartments will go toward helping the approximately 100 pregnant mothers who experience homelessness each year in Edmonton.
Dub heard about the need for such housing on a local radio program. He thought about what he could do to help, and he told the Edmonton Journal, “I just happened to have a building.”
Dub rehabilitates historic buildings, and the building he is donating to Capital Region Housing was built in 1913. Capital Region Housing sought to purchase the building, which was previously the Grand Manor Hotel, but finances were tight. Dub, who renovated the building to form 18 studio and one-bedroom units, asked, “Do you think you could make it work if I donated the building?”
The housing for pregnant moms is part of a larger program to assist pregnant mothers in Edmonton. The program, Pregnancy Pathways, aims to provide mothers in crisis with stable housing and prenatal care, as well as education. By helping women learn their options during pregnancy, the program seeks to empower mothers to make the best choices for themselves and their children.
Pregnant mothers referred through social services will be able to live in the apartments during pregnancy and for the first months after birth. Six to nine months after the mothers give birth, coordinators in the program will help them find more permanent housing.
Dub is humble about his donation and says the decision was an easy one. He consulted his children before making the donation, and they readily supported his decision. Dub said, “We agreed this was just as good a cause as you could possibly get.”
The Pregnancy Pathways program in Edmonton rightly recognizes that the situation is the crisis, not the baby. By giving women access to resources and education, the mothers can better their own lives and the lives of their children by making an informed choice to parent or place their child in an adoptive family. With this lifeline available, women do not feel forced to use abortion, ending the life of their preborn babies, as their only choice.
Texas has also recognized this need and given pregnant moms and their families access to life-saving resources through the Alternatives to Abortion Program (A2A). Overseen by the award-winning Texas Pregnancy Care Network, A2A offers Texas mothers a life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies.
In the past legislative session, A2A received an additional $20 million in funding. This money is being used to expand the network, especially in underserved rural areas of the state. The funding will also ensure increased efforts to connect mothers with social services and job training and placement.
When mothers are able to succeed, their children have more opportunities and Texas is stronger. With programs like Edmonton’s Pregnancy Pathways and Texas’s A2A, women are not sent to the predatory abortion industry where taking the life of a defenseless human being is presented as the only option in difficult circumstances. Life-affirming programs empower women to see what their choices really are.