Let’s Strengthen Families

Covenant House Two Gen Team

The Two-Generation program at Covenant House New Orleans, led by Ebonee Craighead, has helped young families establish stability since 2017, seeking to “carve out a plan that is geared toward parenting and not just housing,” said Ebonee. 

Nearly one-third of the female residents at our New Orleans house are young mothers, and an average of 18 "two-generation" families are under our care daily. 

Within 48 hours of arriving, they consult with a case manager, and are provided physical and behavioral health evaluations by Crescent Care, a community health partner. 

In early practices, the team would work with expectant moms until birth, but Ebonee noticed a pattern. 

“A year later, they’re back, babies aren’t in school, wellness visits aren't caught up.” 

“Now we provide wrap-around services. The babies have a case plan too, even before birth. Mom gets a doctor of her choice, a doula, birthing classes, and lots of advocacy,” said Ebonee. “And they have to be willing to do continuing education or job training.” 

The staff even works with other family members of pregnant and parenting young people. 

“We’ve worked with grandparents to teach them to support; aunts, dads, anyone,” she said. “We have to take our unique New Orleans culture into consideration. Anybody can be family. Anyone can be ‘Auntie,’ she said with a laugh. “Neighbors, family friends, etc.”

Two Gen also provides bonding time for young families with trips to the zoo, parks, the Children's Museum, encouraging positive interactions to offset the stress associated with past experiences.

Services are provided to two groups: those who have chosen to live in shelter and those who have not. 

If a young parent chooses not to, they still receive all services. Ebonee believes it’s important that staff “be able to speak the language of healthy work.” 

“We want to see a family, not just one person. That means getting the babies enrolled in Head Start, so they can be children during the day, while moms do the work for a better life — appointments and things — and babies don’t have to be part of that.”

Shelter Is Only the Beginning

From crisis to care: Find out what it's like when a young person enters our doors.