40th Anniversary of Project Hope: Helping Young Pregnant Moms Find Success

Connecting Communities | April 2022

In recognition of Project Hope’s 40 years of service to the community and its outstanding outcomes for pregnant young women and their babies, Laronda Castine, Project Hope Manager, and Chief Operating Officer, Maureen Hallagan, spoke with a few local news groups to share the success over the years.

Project Hope is a comprehensive program for pregnant and parenting girls and young women ages 12-25 that addresses the many needs of mothers in Chicago. It was started because there weren’t any services for pregnant teens in local areas at the time of its founding. Project Hope empowers girls and young women to work towards self-sufficiency, care for their child, and build a positive future for their family. Project Hope provides prenatal and parenting groups that focus on the relationship between mother and baby, regular home visits before and after the birth of the child, Doula birthing services that support young mothers during labor and delivery and referrals to schools, housing, health agencies, job training and recreational activities.

Watch Laronda Castine, Project Hope Manager, on FOX 32 NEWS CHICAGO as she shares current updates on Project Hope.


Project Hope has had outstanding success for the young women and babies in the program. Here are just some of the above-average stats from 40 years of serving the community:

  • 78 percent of Project Hope moms have birthed normal-weight babies since 1993. There hasn’t been a low-weight birth in the last 10 years.
  • Project Hope has served over 850 women with a 100% maternal survival rate.
  • Project Hope has had only 13 percent of C-section births vs. the 31 percent average in the US according to the CDC.

To put that into perspective, Chicago’s infant mortality rate in 2017 was 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births — higher than the rate for the United States as a whole (5.8), which is already higher than that of comparable nations. In East Garfield Park, the infant mortality rate in 2013-2017 was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 births — higher than in other surrounding communities. Additionally, the city’s infant mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black infants was more than three times that of non-Hispanic White infants and more than two times that of Latinx infants.

Listen to MSV’s COO Maureen Hallagan on @670TheScore as she shares how the program started and how far it has come today focused on strength-based programs for young mothers and families.

Project Hope is always accepting donations and volunteers to help young mothers in the program.

Learn more about ways to donate, volunteer or work at MSV.