If you’re like me, it seems like each day throughout the last five months has been a roller coaster of emotions. Trying to navigate this national crisis and pandemic has been a lot to handle. At Christ’s Haven For Children, we have stayed laser focused on our core values: Normalcy, Dignity, and Hope. Thanks to your generosity, I want to share how your past support has helped us persevere and even grow a new program.
I’ve never been more appreciative of our family model of care than during COVID. Thanks to the vision of Christ’s Haven’s founders, we continue to operate just like a neighborhood of families. This has served us well during stay-at-home orders and social distancing, with houseparents who have hunkered down with around 5-8 kids and teenagers in each of our homes on campus. It’s looked like many of the neighborhoods you live in. And just like many families, our kids and houseparents have dealt with extra stress, cancellations, and disappointments while teaching and modeling resilience.
What makes our families different is that the kids and teenagers we care for come to us with trauma due to past abuse and neglect. As soon as COVID began, we knew that continuing our trauma-informed care would be critical during this time of uncertainty. Knowing that trauma can trigger trauma, we increased the amount of counseling many of our kids receive. Making sure they feel seen and heard has been even more important when the world outside feels so confusing.
One of the most encouraging aspects is the additional time free of busy schedules and activities to engage and connect even more with the children and teens in our care. Our relationships are stronger and trust has grown. Without the added pressure that many of our teens face at school, houseparents have seen emotional walls come down and progress made.
New opportunity to stand in the gap.
As the impact of COVID unfolded throughout the Spring and early Summer, we saw firsthand the economic, mental health, and spiritual toll it was taking and continues to take. We realized there was a need in our community that we could meet while staying true to our mission. What resulted is our newest program, Gap Services, which allows us to stand in the gap for families in need. Local foster families and families at risk of needing placement for their children are the primary groups this new program will serve.
“I got the phone call around 1:00am and by 4:00am, a scared, wide-eyed 6-year old girl stood on our front porch. This wasn’t our first time to become foster parents, so we knew what we needed to do. Calm, safety, and trust are priority the first few days. And that takes a lot of time and focus. So when our doorbell rang again just a few hours after she arrived, we discovered a Care Package of fresh produce, pantry items, laundry detergent, and little girl’s clothes from Christ’s Haven. I can’t tell you how much relief that provided. Leaving the house is not often an option those first few days with a new foster placement. Christ’s Haven met an immediate need right when our tired family needed it the most. We felt so seen and loved.”
~ Angie, foster mom in Roanoke
Thanks to generous donors like you, we were able to activate resources immediately to help Angie and her family as they welcomed a new foster child into their home. Our hope is that this simple but needed support will help even more families at the beginning of their work to provide normalcy, dignity, and hope to foster and displaced children in our community.
In just three months of providing these services, we have already distributed 60 Food Boxes and provided 20+ hours of counseling to our local community.
Who can access support for Gap Services program?
- Families experiencing economic strain
- Families in need of counseling services
- Foster families in our surrounding area
- Young adults aging out of foster care
What support does Gap Service program provide?
- Weekly food boxes containing a variety of perishable & non-perishable food items.
- Counseling services by professional, licensed counselors for youth, parents, and/or biological siblings.
- “First Night Care Packages” containing essential toiletry & clothing items for new foster placements.
We have seen the demand for our new Gap Services program and know it will continue to grow. We have seen the impact of a trauma-informed, family model of care on our campus and know it works.
Will you make a gift to ensure Christ’s Haven continues to support at-risk families and the children and teens who are healing from past abuse and neglect? Please consider making a donation to provide Normalcy, Dignity, and Hope to our community.
Christ’s Haven For Children, CEO