A number of professional photographers stepped up to provide a number of mothers living in the Downtown Eastside something they wouldn’t have otherwise — a photo with their children.
The moms are all living at UGM’s Sanctuary, which is a stabilization program aimed at keeping moms and babies together while the moms are getting their lives in order. Some of the moms in the group were once homeless and some have a history of substance abuse.
One of the moms in the program, Deanna, started crying for joy when she saw the photos taken by Aimee Odegard from Welcome Here Photography.
Deanna has a baby girl named Christa.
“I’d been living in the Downtown Eastside for the last decade. And it’s been really rough these past nine years. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t think I would be able to keep her. I didn’t think I would be able to fully care for her the way she needed…And then I had her, and I fell in love so hard. I knew I just could not leave her whatsoever,” says Deanna.
That’s when she knew she wasn’t going to use drugs anymore and now she’s working on getting back on her feet.
“This photoshoot makes me feel so beautiful — I’ve never really had anything like this before. And my daughter is just so beautiful, I’m glad to have this moment in time. I hold her close to me, and every night as she falls asleep on my chest, I whisper ‘I love you.’”
The UGM recruited the photographers through Instagram and say these moms are all working towards a better future, and that they deserve to be celebrated.