Pregnant teens face housing crunch in Yarmouth
A centre for pregnant women in Yarmouth county is struggling to find homes for pregnant teens with nowhere to live.
Many teenagers are couch-surfing because they have no place to go, said Pam Churchill, executive director of the Tri-County Pregnancy Care Centre in Yarmouth.
"A lot of clients we see are 16, 17, pregnant and not knowing what they're going to do," she told CBC News Thursday.
Churchill said she doesn't know how many pregnant teenagers there are in the area, though according to statistics, Yarmouth has a higher teen pregnancy rate than other towns in the province.
"It would be rare for us to go a week without having a client come and have at least a positive test," she said.
Because they are underage, pregnant teens do not qualify for funding under social services guidelines. That leaves many of them wondering how to pay for an apartment if their parents kick them out, Churchill said.
She said the centre tries to find these teens a place to live. One family has been willing to help out, but there isn't room for everybody.
Other than relying on sympathetic families, Churchill does not have any solutions. But she would like to see a special home built for pregnant teens.
"A place where they could go to get that kind of help would be an incredibly awesome thing," she said.
A study looking at pregnancy rates of teens in Yarmouth is underway.