OWENWS-01-17-21 SUNDAY SERIES JESSICA MONROY

Jessica Monroy is the new director of services at St. Gerard Maternal Home.

Jessica Monroy, the new director of services for St Gerard Maternal Home of St. Benedict’s, said helping women navigate a new and scary part of their lives can be rewarding, especially after having experienced it herself.

St. Gerard Maternal Home, formerly St. Gerard Life Home, is a live-in facility for expectant mothers that aims to help clients work toward self-sufficiency and independence through its many services.

St. Benedict’s took over management of the facility in November 2019, according to Monroy. The facility offers six beds to expectant mothers and will house them up to three months after they give birth.

Services include case management, drug and alcohol assessment, employment services, finding community resources, housing opportunities, transportation, health care referrals and life skills classes.

Monroy said she stepped on board as the director of services for St. Gerard in November of last year. She said she began working for St. Benedict’s after coming out of a difficult situation herself.

“The work that I’m blessed to do for St. Gerard and St. Benedict’s is actually really near and dear to my heart,” she said.

“I began working for St. Benedict’s November 2017 and about a year prior to that, I was actually at one of the lowest spots in my life,” she said. “I was battling addiction and homelessness. I was actually sleeping in a car that didn’t run just five blocks from the place I get to serve at today.”

After a period of homelessness, Monroy said she decided to move to Henderson County to seek help and was considering returning to Owensboro a year later when an opportunity presented itself to serve as the White Flag coordinator with St. Benedict’s.

White Flag offers housing to those in need during the colder days and nights of the year.

“It was kind of that pull that I needed to come back and serve those that are at the lowest spot in their lives,” she said.

Once the White Flag facility closed following an extremely cold season, Monroy said she was offered a position as intake specialist for St. Benedict’s Shelter for Men. She said she continued in that position for about three years before being promoted to the St. Gerard location this past November.

“It was kind of like that gift that keeps on giving because getting to serve those women is something that’s just, it’s really a blessing,” she said. “I myself was a young mother and so getting to help them through those struggles and in kind of navigating those things, it’s a blessing to be able to see them grow … I’ve just been really blessed.”

Since Monroy came on as director at St. Gerard, she said it has been rewarding to watch and help women grow and navigate through a new and potentially trying time in their lives.

She said St. Gerard has helped 22 expecting mothers since St. Benedict’s took it over in 2019.

Monroy said there is currently availability at St. Gerard Maternal Home for any women who are expecting and seeking assistance.

“We’d love to offer our home and our help to those needing it,” she said.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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