New crisis pregnancy center makes impact on Detroit’s east side

Detroit — Although it has only been open five months, the Imago Dei Crisis Pregnancy Center on Detroit’s lower east side can already boast two babies saved, because the mothers were persuaded to continue their pregnancies.

In addition, another four babies have been born to mothers enrolled in Learn to Earn classes at the center, said its acting director, Deacon Joe Iskra.

Attending the classes, which deal with life issues, chaste living and parenting matters, allows participants to earn credits that can be redeemed for baby clothes or other baby items.

Addressing the issue of sexual morality is especially important, Deacon Iskra said:  “Seventy-eight percent of the babies born in the City of Detroit are born to single mothers, and the No. 1 cause of poverty is women having children out of wedlock.”

Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon stands between Deacon Joe Iskra (at right) and some of the volunteers at the Imago Dei Satellite Crisis Pregnancy Center in Detroit. The volunteers are (from left) Peggy Bell, Gloria Page, Delores Guye, Wilnette Jones and Kris Barnes.

The center, on the second floor of the former school building at St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish, arose from the feeling of Deacon Iskra and others that the main Imago Dei Center’s move from Eight Mile, Road in Detroit to Schoenherr Road near 13 Mile Road in Warren put it too far away for many Detroit girls and women.

“We’re situated in Detroit, where the need is greatest,” Deacon Iskra said.

Besides Fr. Daniel Trapp, the parish’s pastor, providing the space for the clinic, the people of St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish have embraced the mission of the clinic, providing most of the 25 volunteers who staff it.

Deacon Iskra says said the clinic’s greatest need is to purchase an ultrasound machine, for which they will need around $18,000, and toward which goal they have so far raised about $3,000.

Many people who work with problem pregnancy centers have hailed the effectiveness of showing a mother an ultrasound image of her baby in persuading her to continue her pregnancy.