Help for Teen Moms

RENO, Nev. - Raising a kid is difficult. But raising one when you're still a child yourself is even more challenging.

With all the hype surrounding Mothers' Day and making sure you get the perfect gift, it's easy to forget many moms are not lucky enough to have a strong support system.

Which is why Casa de Vida strives to make sure struggling teen parents are able to get the help they need.

"We offer shelter, parenting classes, help them get through school, find jobs," April Gonzales, executive director for Casa de Vida said. "But best of all we have Wanda's Closet."

Children grow so fast and buying new clothes is expensive, especially when you're a single parent. But at Wanda's Closet, every item is free. They supply struggling parents with everything they need including diapers, formula, bibs, and blankets and clothes.

But don't think just because the items are free that means they are cheap. The Closet has name brands like Carter's and OshKosh.

"We wanted a boutique," Gonzalez said. "We didn't want them to be embarrassed coming here."

Gonzales knows first hand just how difficult being a teen mom can be. She had her first child when she was 18.

"If I would have had the services Casa de Vida provides, I would have been better off back then."

Gonzales says she was fortunate enough to have supportive parents, but many of the girls they help aren't as lucky.

"We give them help so they can get off the track they're on, and their kids won't be put in the same situation."

Racks of clothes line the walls of Wanda's Basement, but Gonzales says they always need donations.

"We need larger sized clothes, and we go through diapers and formula so quickly."

Donations can be made at Casa de Vida Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Casa de Vida is located on Mill Street across from Renown Hospital.

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