Long Beach pastor tries to help pregnant homeless woman whose baby is at risk

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A pastor challenged the city of Long Beach to help a pregnant homeless woman whose child is at risk.

LaToya Marshall is six months pregnant. It's a plight that confronts many women who live on the street and may seek help from a man for protection or are victims of assault. Marshall said she's been trying to live along the L.A. River until the health department cleared the encampment last week.

Her doctor told her the baby is at risk.

"I'm exhausted. I really can't do no more. I'm scared. I don't want to lose this baby like I lost my last baby last year," she said. "Lungs aren't even developed yet or nothing. I just don't want my baby to come out and be in an incubator."

Long Beach city officials said it has $8.5 million in HUD money that is focused on continuum of care programs where clients work to resolve the issues that made them homeless in the first place.

Robert Probst at the Long Beach Rescue Mission's Lydia House said there is a steady demand for shelter with women and their children having no other place to go. He said he is ready to help Marshall.

"As soon as one person is coming out, another person is coming in," he said. "Assessment is everything you know. If there is somebody who is late in the pregnancy then boy that's going to take them to the top of the list. That's just how it is - we have a baby to think about."

While it may sound like an easy fix - it isn't. Pastor Broussard Clark said at shelters there are issues of cultural sensitivity and concerns that social workers would take Marshall's baby if she could not agree with their conditions.

"I want to put a shower for her together. I need this to go viral," Clark said.

But the pastor is not deterred. She said the mother-to-be needs help no matter what and hopes that someone can provide the type of home they are looking for.
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