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Photo by Dante Fontana
If you ask Krista Zorichak Lopez, hardship is one of life’s greatest teachers.
After enduring a year of incredibly stressful personal circumstances that took her to emotional places she never imagined, she emerged with her faith reaffirmed. To give back what she herself found, she established the Rocklin non-profit, Nevaeh’s Hope. The nonprofit provides housing and support for pregnant women in crisis.
In what is no accident, “Nevaeh” is the word heaven spelled backwards; it is also “where my hope lies,” says Zorichak Lopez, a medical field vet now executive director of Nevaeh’s Hope. “I knew that CPS wouldn’t allow women without residences to keep their babies and I didn’t want to see families divided due to [these circumstances],” she explains. “Many women only need a support system and people to believe in them.”
Enter Nevaeh’s Hope. The organization – also inspired by a toddler, named Nevaeh, whose mother was unable to provide for her due to a lack of support and education – serves a segment of the local population not lingering in the minds of most people. Zorichak Lopez explains there is a surprisingly large number of homeless and displaced pregnant women in the local community. “We currently get four to six calls per week from pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 28 who are in need of housing.” Referrals come from pregnancy clinics, hospital social workers, churches, and area residents.
Although the main focus of Nevaeh’s Hope is working with pregnant women, it also provides assistance to women with young children. Aid comes in the form of transportation, parental skill coaching, job training, and supplying needed essentials such as diapers, clothes, formula and toys. Each woman is assigned a mentor who provides counseling, and a trained doula to assist with childbirth. “Each woman has an individualized program that requires them to fulfill 35 hours of productive time a week in order to prepare them for an independent lifestyle,” notes Zorichak Lopez, adding that the organization is working toward opening a maternity home to provide these services on a larger scale.
This Roseville-based maternity home will house six pregnant women at a time. To open, the organization still needs to raise $128,000. Impressively, despite the shortfall in funds and facilities, Nevaeh’s Hope still managed to provide housing and resources for 22 women in Placer County in 2010.
While fundraising continues to be the most formidable challenge facing the non-profit, all those with ties to Nevaeh’s Hope remain undaunted. The nonprofit will host its next fundraiser January 28, at Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin, followed by a benefit concert April 28 (more details at nevaehshope.org).
“These women all have an amazing life story,” Zorichak Lopez says. “All of them have experienced a series of unfortunate events and the majority of them have lost at least one parent. We are stepping into their lives to be the support team that they are missing.”
For more information or to get involved, visit nevaehshope.org or call 916-316-9644.