By Emily Drooby
WINDSOR TERRACE — Over 100,000 babies are born yearly in New York City, and even coronavirus can’t stop that.
Pregnancy crisis centers like Good Counsel and Bridge to Life have been working overtime to help mothers during the pandemic.
Theresa Lemunyon welcomed her baby into the world on March 31. Theresa needed help, and because of the coronavirus, she was having a hard time finding it. “No other place was accepting anyone,” she explained.
That was the case until she connected with Good Counsel, a Catholic nonprofit that helps pregnant women and new moms in crisis at their various shelters.
“As soon as we reached out to the Good Counsel they called back,” Lemunyon said. “And if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had a place and my son wouldn’t have had a place. ”
Good Counsel is open and ready to help women who are experiencing all kinds of hardships — from losing their job to escaping a dangerous home.
But the president and co-founder, Christopher Bell, said there’s a problem. People aren’t aware that Good Counsel is open.
“Fewer women are calling us … fewer women are emailing us,” Bell explained. “But we are here, and we are open, and we are doing everything we would normally do for any pregnant woman who is in need.”
Bridge to Life, established in 1992 to assist mothers and newborns, has been busy according to Catherine Donohoe, president of the board of directors.
“We had several calls just in the last week,” she said. “There’s a desperate need. Young women are having babies with no support. We take care of vulnerable people.”
Despite the pandemic, Bridge to Life is carrying on with its mission. Volunteers are preparing layette sets filled with “everything a mother would get at a baby shower,” according to Donohoe.
Taking precautions, the volunteers leave the layette sets on the porch of Bridge to Life’s Queens headquarters for mothers to pick up.
Over at Good Counsel, staff ers are doing all they can to help mothers, and for house manager Dominique Coston that meant delivering a mom’s newborn at the hospital until professional help showed up minutes later.
“I’m just glad that we are able to be that support person for them, and be able to give them that shelter, somewhere to stay, somewhere safe,” Coston said.
Good Counsel’s 24-hour hotline is (800) 723-8331. To reach Bridge to Life, call (718) 463-1810.
To read the latest updates regarding coronavirus concerns in the Brooklyn Diocese, go to https://thetablet.org/coronavirus.
Paula Katinas contributed to this story.