Have you heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? You know, the one that you vaguely remember from a class taken long ago? It addresses the needs of individuals, beginning with physiological and progressing to safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Starting with physiological, each need must be met before the subsequent needs can be achieved, ending with self-actualization. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is often portrayed in the image of a pyramid; the “base” of the pyramid is physiological needs (food, water, sleep, clothes, and housing).
Pregnancy Support Services (PSS) provides free, professional counseling to women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. However, many times life gets in the way; a client’s car breaks down and she is stuck with a bill she just can’t cover, a mother of four has an unexpected medical expense, or a young mom is chronically homeless and is worried about where she and her child will sleep each night. These are just a few examples of ways that life derails plans or upsets an already shaky budget. During a crisis, counseling and education often take a “back seat” in order to focus on meeting more basic needs. A woman who is constantly concerned about losing her apartment can have a difficult time engaging in a conversation about the benefits of “Tummy time” for an infant.
That’s where the PSS Benevolence Fund comes in.
Through the PSS Benevolence Fund, PSS is able to offer clients tangible support as a last resort. This fund has been a Godsend for countless PSS clients this past year. It has provided a mother of five with gas money to get to a job interview, paid a utility bill when a mother was on the brink of losing her housing, supplied a new mother with groceries, allowed a pregnant woman access to a phone in order to call housing agencies, covered the entrance fee into a housing program for a homeless client, and so much more. The PSS Benevolence Fund seeks to build a strong base for the pyramid (clients’ basic needs), allowing counseling and education to become more effective for the women served through PSS.