Resources to Help You Reach Your Goals
are you in college? find pregnancy and parenting resources on your campus: Pregnant on Campus
Find a Home
FIND A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE
- Helpful indicators for crime in Rochester are Crime Reports and Spot Crime which are websites that show you what crimes happened in the area you’re interested in during a specific time period.
- Something to remember: when in university areas there is a much higher crime rate. If you carefully search the Democrat & Chronicle by street name, you can find news articles about the area. You can do the same with the Syracuse, NY.
FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- Catholic Charities occasionally has openings for housing, called Providence Housing. Click here for their website, or call (585) 328 – 3228.
GET HELP WITH GROCERIES
Thankfully, New York state sponsors many different programs which you might be eligible for. These are:
- Visit a food bank near you: Foodlink at 1999 Mt. Read Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14615. You can call them at (585) 328 – 3380.
- WIC (Women, Infants and Children) – If you’re eligible, WIC provides checks to purchase specific healthy foods from local grocery stores. They also assist you with breastfeeding counseling, getting a free breast pump, and even Baby Formula. Call 1-800-522-5006 to see if you qualify and how to get started.
- Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program – FMNP provides checks to women, infants and children, (as well as senior citizens) to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets during the summer and fall: runs from June to November 15 of every year.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – If eligible, SNAP program will help pay your grocery bill by providing a set cash value strictly towards food items so you and your child can eat well. For federal information about SNAP, click here, or to see if you are eligible for this program in New York state, call 1-800-342-3009, or visit myBenefits.
- Food Pantries.org – This website provides a comprehensive list of food pantries through out New York state. (The city of Rochester in particular is not listed here.)
ROCHESTER’S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION (RTS)
Due to Rochester’s unusually large infrastructure, Rochester thankfully has busses (called RTS) that travel from downtown Rochester to frequented suburbs such as Henrietta and Greece. While their schedule is very specific, it does allow the rider to choose time options, and they are mobile device friendly. RTS is also handicap friendly and child friendly. Click here to visit the RTS Website.
If you’re in a pinch and need a taxi, two low-cost and trustworthy companies are:
- Vanguard Taxi – Call (585)506-6996 or e-mail Al@VanguardTaxi.com, Open until 4am
- Airport Taxi Rochester, NY – Call (585) 957-2470, Open 24/7
Keep in mind, both companies can take you around the city and are not just limited to the airport.
CONSIDER IF A CAR WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS
Unlike other cities, while Rochester has a “downtown” sector, the majority of the Rochester community is widespread and in reality extends from the suburbs of Greece to Irondequoit (North West to North East), from Gates and Henrietta to Brighton (South West to South East). While the bus travels to all these suburbs, if you need to balance a job and raising your child, being late to work because you missed the bus can wreak havoc on your life. In addition, Rochester can have a mild winter one year, and have a relentless, fiercely snowy and cold winter the next. As a result, we recommend that if you are contemplating raising a child and will need to balance a job and maybe even school all at the same time, saving enough money to buy a used car might make life easier for you in the future. Just remember that before you purchase a car, you need to take into account all of the costs, including car insurance, maintenance, gasoline, and repairs.
The world can be a scary place and its easy to feel lonely and overwhelmed. Experiencing pregnancy or parenthood can magnify these anxieties, and God knows that. Fear is natural, but to have faith in God is supernatural: He loves you and He will never abandon you. God understands our challenges better than we do, so we need to give ourselves up in faith and prayer to Jesus because He wants to hold our hand in the good times and the bad. Remember: life isn’t perfect, but if we trust in God and obey Him, we might enter Heaven where everything is perfect.
Once we accept pregnancy or parenthood into our lives, God blesses us with a sense of joy, accomplishment, and victory against our challenges because no matter what we face, with God, nothing is impossible: “…for God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
If God has invited you to share in His miracle of new life, then let us help you welcome Jesus into your life by welcoming your baby into the world.
FIND A PARISH
A “Parish” is what Catholics call a faith community. All Parishes are operated by a diocese, which is under the authority of a Bishop, who is faithful to the Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit), the Catholic Church, and the Pope. A Parish can have multiple churches (locations), or just one church. A Parish can give you a sense of belonging or a “faith family” that will pray for you, love you and support you. Family doesn’t have to be blood, it can also be brothers and sisters in Christ who want to nurture you and keep you safe from harm.
Below is a website called “Mass Times.org”- it’s a great way to find a church near you that can put you in touch with a priest, as well as a group of people who are ready to pray for you and support you. You don’t have to be alone. Just enter your zip code and it will populate the parishes closest to you.
IMITATE MOTHER MARY
Mary was a teenager when she became pregnant with the Son of God. She overcame all the odds while she was pregnant: gossip, a potential death sentence, and potentially becoming a social outcast. She suffered through rejection and displacement, all while caring for her Baby. Despite the world hating them, God kept Jesus, Mary, and Joseph safe and never let them down. Mary never stopped believing in God, and she never let people or troubles consume her. Mary is the perfect model of strength and courage because she never stopped trusting in God and protecting her Child.
Let’s not forget that at the end of Jesus’ life, Mary again overcame the odds: she survived the grief of seeing her beloved Son murdered. Any woman who loves her child like Mary did Jesus would not be able to bear the horrific pain of seeing their child abused and hung to die on a cross. But Mary did survive, and that’s why she’s a hero to all women who are persecuted for the sake of doing what’s right. Let’s learn from Mother Mary’s strength, courage and love that God is loving, just, and merciful. So never stop praying, always have faith, and trust that God will always provide.
JESUS IS BY YOUR SIDE
God has a plan for your life. He knows you have something special inside your heart that will make this a better world, and He knows what has happened in your life that could help others. God wants to show you everything He’s done in the past to take care of you, and wants to show you how much He loves you.
Is there anyone in heaven you can ask for help? What do you do every day that could make a difference? How will your pregnancy make a positive difference in this world? And trust us, you carrying your baby to full term will make an amazing difference to everyone!
- Read the Bible: here’s a free e-book, or read it at this website.
- Let’s talk at the Forum.
- Get spiritual direction – the Sisters of Mercy have trained Spiritual Directors who are ready to give you guidance and direction to help you follow God’s Will in your life.
- Come celebrate Holy Mass with us.
FIND A PRO-LIFE OB/GYN OFFICE
There are medical teams and facilities that can offer you safe environment for your pro-life attitude. Check out:
- Grace Family Medicine: 342 Arnett Blvd, Rochester, NY 14619. (585) 235 – 2250.
- Joy Family Medicine: 918 N. Goodman St., Rochester, NY 14609. (585) 697 – 0004.
- CompassCare: 300 White Spruce Blvd, Rochester, NY 14623. (585) 232 – 2350.
There are plenty more pro-life obstetricians (also called pre-natal care physicians), pediatricians, and primary care physicians in the Rochester area. Visit LifeROC on Facebook or Connect on the LifeROC Message Forum to find a practice near you!
GET A REFERRAL FOR AN ULTRASOUND
The following places offer free referrals to get you an ultrasound so you can see your baby:
- Birthright at 320 N. Washington St. 14625. Call (585) 385-2100, Open T & Th, 10am-2pm
- Crossroads Pregnancy Care at 10 Cedarfield Comm. 14612. Call (585) 368-0746, Open M W F, 1-5pm; or by appointment
- Embracing Options at 342 Arnett Blvd, 14619. Call (585) 235-0690, Open M W Th 12pm-4pm; T 10am-4pm
- Embracing Options at 35 Curtice Park, 14580. Call (585) 545-4690, Open T W Th 12pm-5pm
- Focus Pregnancy Help Center at 86 University Ave, 14605. Call (585) 200-9477, Open M 1:30-5:30; T W Th 1-6:30; or by appointment
- Place of Hope PRC at 916 Goodman St. 14609. Call (585) 697-0003, Open M T Th 11am-5pm
- Women’s Care Center at 3252 Lake Avenue 14612. Call (585) 865-0360, Open M W F 12pm-4pm
$AVE MONEY ON PRENATAL VITAMINS, PRESCRIPTIONS, BREAST PUMP
If you don’t have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), when it comes to prenatal vitamins, there’s 2 choices: 1) you buy prenatal vitamins at the store ($10 and more a bottle), or 2) you ask your physician to prescribe you prenatal vitamins, which allows your medical insurance to help cover part, if not the majority of the cost.
If you need a prescription medicine, ask your doctor to prescribe the generic drug. A generic drug costs a fraction of the cost than the name brand equivalent, even though they are identical in dosage and quality. For example, instead of buying over-the-counter Tylenol for pain, you buy the generic drug: acetaminophen. If you want to save even more money, you purchase the store brand’s generic drug. (Chain stores distribute their own labeling and marketing for acetaminophen, such as Walgreens, RiteAid, CVS, Wegmans, Walmart, etc.) It’s easy to find the generic name of a drug. Just Google a medicine and type “generic” after it and research the name. Then you can compare prices for the prescribed medicine here. Example: your doctor says you need Ventolin. Google “ventolin generic”. You’ll see “albuterol” come up as the generic drug, so ask your doctor to prescribe albuterol, not Ventolin. Then on the NYS Prescription Drug Prices website you’ll be able to find the lowest price of albuterol and not lose your hard earned money.
If you’re hoping to breast-feed your child, a good tool to have is a breast pump. Federal law entitles all expectant mothers to receive a new and unused free breast pump from a company, paid by your medical insurance. You can save yourself over $200 by calling your medical insurance and stating you are expecting a child and need a breast pump. Your medical insurance will then give you the name and phone number of a specific breast pump vendor (seller) they work with. You call the vendor, order the breast pump through them, you give them your insurance information, they will ship the breast pump to you directly, and send the bill to your medical insurance. You pay nothing. Typically, you need to be within one month of your due date for you to order and receive your breast pump, but this varies depending on your medical insurance.
GET MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR YOU AND BABY THROUGH FIDELIS CARE
If you are pregnant and don’t have private health insurance, please consider enrolling in a free medical insurance program to help keep you and baby safe and healthy.
Fidelis Care– Fidelis Care is essentially a Catholic “shopping mall” for free or low-cost health insurance provided through New York state. In other words, instead of calling New York State Health Options on your own and exposing yourself to potentially stressful phone calls, you can make one simple phone call to Fidelis Care who have trained and experienced representatives who can review your options and find you and your baby the best health insurance plans possible. This service is at not cost to you.
Fidelis Care can help you get Child Health Plus or Children’s Medicaid,which are 2 different programs New York state offers to residents seeking free health insurance for their children. Nearly all children are eligible for Child Health Plus, and if your child has special needs, he or she may be eligible for Children’s Medicaid. Medical providers through out the entire New York state accept Children’s Medicaid and Child Health Plus.
Fidelis Care can also help you get Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) or Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services (MOMS) Program which are NYS Medicaid programs for women and teenagers who reside in New York State and need pregnancy care. Services include routine pregnancy medical check-ups, lab work, access to specialists, hospital care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, HIV counseling and testing, assistance in applying for programs like WIC, and full health care for you until at least two months after delivery and health care for your baby for at least 1 year after birth.
Fidelis Care can also help you see if you are eligible for Medicaid or Family Health Plus.
Call Fidelis Care any day, any time at 1-888-343-3547, and you can visit them in person at one of their offices listed below.
- Rochester Office- 100 WillowBrook Office Park, Fairport, NY 14450: (585) 383-8104. Hours are M-F: 8:30am – 5:00pm.
- Syracuse Office- 5010 Campuswood Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057: (315) 437-1835. Hours are M-F: 8:30am – 5:00pm.
- Buffalo Office- 480 CrossPoint Parkway, Getzville, NY 14068: (716) 564-3630. Hours are M-F: 8:30am – 5:00pm.
- Albany Office- 31 British American Boulevard, Latham, NY 12110: (518) 427-0481. Hours M-F: 8:30am – 5:00pm.
SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR FREE MEDICAL INSURANCE
- Count how many people live in your home.
- With that number, look at the column that pertains to your house, and look at the maximum allowed income. Remember, pregnant women count as two people: mom and baby.
- If your home’s income is equal to or less than any of the numbers listed in that column, then you qualify.
- If, however, your home’s income is greater than the number listed, you might not qualify. Call Fidelis Care to make sure of your eligibility.
*: one pregnant woman counts as two people, pregnant women and infants under age one are eligible at 223% FPL (Federal Poverty Level), children ages 1 to 18 are eligible at 154% FPL, information provided by NYSDoH.
Christ Medicus Foundation– This organization is revolutionary because of it’s authentic practice of the Christian faith in medical care. It is not medical insurance, but rather a proven system of “give-and-take”: CMF facilitates donations from their members to cover the bill of another member who is in serious need. The system has worked successfully, and has been proven to be legitimate and fair. The organization is faithful the magistrate of the Catholic Church and is completely pro-life.
It’s important to have friends because pregnancy can be a lonely affair. Surround yourself with friends who support you and your pregnancy; true friends that will that will call you and visit you in the good times and the bad.
LifeRoc can connect you to other pregnant women and people who support you! Just click here to visit our forum and become a member.
GET COUNSELING IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION
Appropriate emotional support is crucial during pregnancy because pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on the psyche. Pregnancy can make every day life seem 1,000 times more intense and sometimes it’s necessary to talk to a professional about the issues you’re facing.
Check with your doctor for emotional counseling, or a pregnancy center for counselor referrals.
If your depression has become more than you can handle and need immediate assistance, call:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255,
- Rochester Mobile Crisis Unit at (585) 275-5151
Just the idea of bringing a small human being into the world overwhelms even the strongest of women, and you need other women around you to support you. Even Mother Mary, the strongest woman in all humanity, needed support (see the Gospel of Luke), so DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!
GET HELP IF YOU’RE BEING ABUSED PHYSICALLY, VERBALLY OR EMOTIONALLY
Physical abuse is any person who lays a hand on you to hurt you physically or sexually. Verbal and emotional abuse is when someone says things like, “What are you going to do, run away?” or “You should be grateful I let you stay here, you’re worthless.” Is this person telling you you’re incompetent and would make a bad mother? Is this person encouraging you to have an abortion instead of supporting you and giving you options like education, a place to stay, helping you job search?
A PERSON WHO LOVES YOU DOES NOT HURT YOU. A PERSON WHO LOVES YOU DOES NOT WANT TO HURT YOUR CHILD. A PERSON WHO LOVES YOUR CHILD DOES NOT WANT TO HURT YOUR CHILD. An abuser can be a boyfriend, a husband, a parent, or even a sibling or friend: anyone who hurts you is not someone who loves you. If this person is physically attacking you, you need to get away from that person immediately, and don’t think twice: grab some personal items and get out of there. If this person is hurting you emotionally and verbally, you need to get support and resources immediately to determine whether this person is even worth the pain or risk of keeping them in your life.
If you have children, you need to put their interests first: is your abuser providing for your children? Do the children witness him abusing you? Is this abuse something you want your child think is normal? Don’t let the abuse reach them or else the cycle of violence will continue through them. Shield them and get out. Sometimes, being safe and living in peace is more important than food: and don’t worry, God and His People will provide you food. There are hundreds of people and several places waiting to help you.
First, you can easily walk into any church and tell them what’s happening. All Christians have an obligation to God to help protect you and your children until you can provide for yourself. Jesus Christ does not want to see you be abused or mistreated. You do not need to suffer like this. Abuse is evil. Please reach out to a person who has a Christian heart- they will do everything possible to help you.
These organizations below can also help you:
- Alternatives for Battered Women, PO Box 39601 Rochester, NY 14604. (585) 232-5200
- Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, 132 Harrison Street Newark, NY 14513. (315) 331-1171
SERVICES & WEBSITES
- Focus on the Family (Protestant Christian Ministry)
- Rochester Mobile Crisis Unit
- Love is Respect– offers support and information on abuse in dating relationships.
- PAVE– a national nonprofit that works to prevent sexual assault and heal survivors.
- Baby Center Message Forum Community
Being a parent and being financially responsible should go hand in hand. You need access to reliable and steady income, if not through yourself, through family. However, every day, you should work tirelessly to move forwards and upwards when it comes finances. That means saving money at all times into a savings account, planning your purchases, deciding what you really need versus what you want, and so on. Here is a handy pamphlet covering financial responsibility and Jesus: Living Catholic Stewardship: Faith & Finances by Phil Lenahan (OSV, 2006)
Depending on your circumstances and your priorities, consider a job to make money. It will organize your life and provide you a healthy schedule, it will give you a sense of dignity, a sense of peace that you’re doing the best you can, and it will encourage you. Consider your skills: what are you best at? Consider the income you need to support yourself and your loved ones. Are you at a dead end job with no opportunity for raises, career advancement, or education? Consider whether you can keep that particular job for at least 2 years- will you be miserable and hate every day of your life going to that job, or are you somewhat content with your job and can handle it for a period of time? Consider if you are in a good work environment: are your coworkers a bad influence on you or do they raise you up and make you smile?
Remember, if you’re pursuing a job, make sure you prepare as best as possible. Do you have sharp interview clothes? If not, hit up a Goodwill store and put your interview outfit together. How does your resume look? Is it accurate? Does it make you look good? Can you change it any more to make it look simple and professional? If not, head to your library and work on cleaning up your resume.
Here are some handy articles to help you land a job.
- How to Look for a Job
- How to Create a Good Resume
- How to Prepare for an Interview
- Helpful Tips – Here’s a helpful collection of 20 things people do wrong when looking for a job. Give it a read and see how if there’s anything about your own job search you can improve.
SAVE YOUR MONEY
Create a Budget: There are many different methods to make the most of your money. One highly recommended system is to create at least three different bank accounts. (ESL Federal Credit Union and typically other Credit Unions offer free checking and savings accounts.) The first account should be a “Bill Pay” Checking Account which receives Direct Deposit cash from your job and pays your essential bills (rent, gas & electric, phone, etc.). The next account should be a “Savings Account” to save your money. The next account should be another Checking Account with a debit card you strictly use for spending money. Next, determine your monthly income and how much your bills cost per month, look at how much money is left over each month. With the money you have left over, divide it into “Spending Money” and “Saving Money”, and divide those into 4 weeks so that you can manage your money on a weekly basis. Spending Money is for gasoline, food, diapers, etc. Try to keep your Spending Money low. “Saving Money” should reflect your future goals: whether it’s you want to go to school, buy a car or a house, or have enough for a rainy day or hellacious medical bills. The next step is to set up automatic payments for your monthly bills, and automatic transfers between your bank accounts (weekly). Let’s say you make $400 a week, paid weekly. All $400 is deposited into your account. The next day, Gas & Electric automatically withdraws $200 from your bank account. Next, your Spending Account deducts $100 from your Bill Pay Account and puts it in your Spending Account so you can buy food and items for the week. Then, once your Bill Pay Account starts to get enough cushioning to pay all your bills every month, that’s when your Savings Account can kick in to deduct from your Bill Pay Account to put cash in to your Savings Account. The best part about this system is that all you need to carry in your wallet is your Spending Account Debit Card, so if you lose your wallet or it gets stolen: you only lost $100, you didn’t lose several hundreds dollars. Here’s a great article that covers the “Multiple Bank Accounts Method”
Create groceries and supplies lists weekly: Make a list of all the things you need or want for the next 7 days. Next, look at your list and try to estimate the price of everything. If your total exceeds your Spending Budget for the week, then take off the things you don’t need or want in the next 7 days. Next, take another look at your wants: do you really need that CoverGirl Eyeliner? Can you get the eyeliner next month perhaps? Or, do you even need it at all? Also remember, buying in bulk (like if an item is on sale or you have a coupon to buy multiple items for a lower price) might be cheaper, but will you be responsible with these items once you get home? For example, you may have purchased diapers in bulk to save money, but you use the diapers liberally and not carefully: “It’s okay, this diaper isn’t completely used because I have plenty more diapers.” This kind thinking can cost you money.
Use coupons!: Based on your list, find coupons that match your items and use them at a store that accepts manufacturer’s coupons. You can do this with the Sunday newspaper, or you can peruse your store’s Weekly Ad for the items on your list. Aldi’s, Family Dollar, and many other stores have their Weekly Ad posted online days in advance. The best part about Family Dollar is they have two helpful apps. Their first app is “Free Printable Coupons”. You can click there and you’ll see manufacturer’s coupons: use their drop down menu for categories such as “Baby”, “Food”, and “Health Care.” They are free, but you do have to print them: you cannot use them on your phone. The best part is once you print them, you do not have to go to Family Dollar to use the coupons, you can go to another store that also accepts manufacturer’s coupons and use them there, but watch out: not all stores accept manufacturer’s coupons. Family Dollar’s next app that will save you money is their Smart Coupons App, and requires no printer or computer. Use your phone to electronically choose the coupons you want to use, and when you get to the register, enter your phone number and the cash value of the coupons you chose on your phone will be instantly deducted. The Dollar General also offers this kind of program. Cool, huh? So keep your eye out for new technologies of your favorite stores as many companies are starting to do these kinds of programs.
To find more apps for digital coupons:
- Coupon Apps for Grocery Shopping
- The Ultimate Couponing Guide
- Cheapism: Best mobile coupon apps let you put down the scissors
STRIVE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
Are you in High School? Do you not have the best academic record but you’re ready to get serious about your future? Consider Hillside Work Scholarship Connection. They provide academic support, career exploration, and job skills training. For the Rochester Office, call (800) 882-4593.
Many people have many different experiences regarding education, and different people will advise of you of different things. If you are a parent or are expecting a child and plan to raise your baby, getting an education will seem tricky but it might be worth it. It might be practical to get a degree or certification in a trade first. Check if the school is affordable and financially realistic, and whether they offer flexible times so you can balance a job while you go to school.
Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, and Onondaga Community College are extremely reputable, rigorous and affordable colleges with flexible schedules, excellent teachers, and caring counselors. There are many other schools to look into, just keep in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of people who got their starts at Community Colleges and are extremely successful today, both in their careers and in their families.
In general, if you’re looking for financial assistance for food or other necessities, myBenefits through New York state funded aid can help you.
RECEIVING CHILD SUPPORT
According to the Federal Government, every child is entitled to receive financial assistance from both parents. It is important to secure this as soon as possible after giving birth to your child. First, your baby’s father needs to call New York Child Support (1-888-208-4485) and determine a course of action to acknowledge paternity. He may need to attain a paternity affidavit, or by way of court order, gain parental rights and responsibilities. Then you and your baby’s father visit the closest Child Support office near you.
- New York Child Support – Child Support Helpline: 1-888-208-4485. Hours are M-F, 8am – 7pm. Find an office you can visit by person clicking here.
- Supportkids – a reputable but private child support collection company. If you feel government agencies haven’t provided the necessary legal support to obtain your child support, going the private route may be another alternative.
Help with Older Children
Information Coming Soon!
Prepare for Baby
Information Coming Soon!