Cleopatra Herrera, founder of the nonprofit A Home From Shana Foundation, places expecting Black moms at the forefront as she combats the housing crisis. After losing her best friend, Lashana Gilmore, during childbirth, Herrera has fundraised tirelessly for a transitional housing center called ‘Labor Live Love’ to help Philadelphia mothers.
With a professional background in corrections and housing nonprofits, Herrera likely knows that unstable housing was a primary issue amongst Black mothers and their health equity plight.
“Her death could have been prevented. Time and time again, we hear these stories of Black women being dismissed, ignored, or talked down upon,” she lamented to WHYY about the birthing experiences.
In a much-needed difference from traditional housing programs that often are ill-equipped to service the needs of expectant mothers, the ‘Labor Live Love Center will provide prenatal and postpartum care vital to the health of both mother and newborn.
“Every childbirth is different. Six weeks after giving birth, we don’t know what our healing process is going to be like,” says Herrera.
A Home From Shana Foundation hopes to be a holistic space for Black moms navigating pregnancy by empowering them to have healthy births and reducing the struggles that negatively impact Black maternal health.
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Source: Black Enterprise