Take a minute to think about the children in your family…your own kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. Consider the love and hope you have for them and their futures. Did you know there are children in our community who live without that love and support? These children may have run away from abusive homes or may be patiently waiting for a foster or forever home to become available.
Fortunately, our community offers a temporary home for youth with nowhere else to turn. Connections Individual and Family Services has been providing shelter, compassionate care and counseling for at-risk youth for more than 30 years.
Taylor, age 9, was removed from his home two years ago due to his parents’ addiction issues. He found a home with his grandmother but was forced into state care after she passed away earlier this year. Taylor, along with his two siblings, came to Connections immediately upon his grandmother’s death. Taylor was traumatized and refused to speak…choosing instead to stay in his room alone. Because of the patience of staff and counselors, Taylor finally opened up and slowly developed relationships with staff and other residents. He has now adjusted to his new home and is attending school regularly.
Connections is more than just a shelter; it is a home where youth can feel valued, safe and cared for all while obtaining tools and strategies to cope with daily challenges. The goal is to offer hope where there was none and confidence where it had been shattered.
Counseling plays a vital role in healing and development for at-risk and traumatized youth. As part of its mission to strengthen communities, Connections also offers accessible, affordable counseling to families in the community. Two of our counseling clients were Noah and his mom:
Rebecca was a 10-year-old girl who was having trouble expressing her anger and frustration. She would often have temper tantrums similar to those of a much younger child. Her mom shared that she was afraid to drive with her because of her outbursts. A counselor worked with Rebecca and her mom teaching them more effective ways to communicate and manage anger. Over time, Rebecca’s behavior improved, both she and her mom felt more relaxed, and both felt heard. Now, when Rebecca feels angry, she is able to remove herself from the situation and deal with her anger in more appropriate ways.
Sadly, the need for shelters and temporary foster homes is on the rise as more kids find themselves homeless and alone. In addition, the increase in depression and anxiety amongst youth enhances the demand for counselors to help combat those issues. Connections can help but we can’t do it alone. This is where you come in!
You can make sure kids like Taylor have a warm, comfortable place to sleep. You can make sure kids like Noah don’t feel so alone. You can make a difference…right here…in your own community.
Please consider giving today. We truly appreciate your support and generosity!