More than a passing circumstance for children in need
Homelessness is more than a passing circumstance for children in need. It can leave a lasting impact on a child’s future – trauma, developmental delays, educational disadvantages. Without somewhere safe to lay their heads at the end of the day, children who are homeless often find themselves with fears no child should ever have to realize: fear of being hungry and cold, fear of being harmed, fear of being alone. A healthy environment, nourishing food, and love and support are critical for a child’s brain development. Without those things, children are more likely to fall behind in their physical, emotional and behavioral development.
The Therapeutic Childcare Center at Father Joe’s Villages provides a caring environment where children feel safe and thrive. Therapeutic Childcare works to end the cycle of homelessness by ensuring that children have the resources they need for success. Together, the staff of Therapeutic Childcare, including Behavioral Health Clinicians and Child Development Specialists, help children achieve developmental milestones, practice healthy socialization, ensure physical wellness and complete nutrition, and so much more.
When he and his family became homeless, Patrick witnessed firsthand the importance of Therapeutic Childcare. After being let go from his job as a Lead Electronic Assembly Specialist, Patrick became unable to pay his rent and he and his family ended up losing their home. Initially, Patrick, his fiancé, and their five children lived out of their car. After the car was repossessed, they were forced to live on the streets. Patrick lamented, “That’s the worst memory – worrying about whether somebody is going to come by and do something to my kids, and the kids being all cold on the sidewalk.”
Patrick sought help from Father Joe’s Villages and was able to move his family into their Family Living Center. He then enrolled his three youngest children into the Therapeutic Childcare Center. Patrick’s 4-year-old son began exhibiting behavioral problems and anger issues. He had difficulty communicating with other kids and exhibited some violent displays of aggression against teachers.
Fortunately, the professional team of Child Development Specialists and Mental Health Clinicians in the Therapeutic Childcare Center stepped in to help. Patrick’s son was able to receive support and treatment to ensure he developed healthy coping mechanisms and behaviors. Patrick’s son gained the communication skills he needed to effectively express himself. “We’ve seen such a difference in his behavior. I am so proud of him,” Patrick shared with GB Magazine.
Having skilled professionals caring for their kids during the day meant that Patrick and his fiancé could focus their time and energy on finding stable work and securing their new home. Last year, 400 children and parents like Patrick and his son participated in the Therapeutic Childcare Center’s specialized programming. Additionally, the Center provided more than 24,000 services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children and teens.
Every child deserves a happy and healthy life. That is why Father Joe’s Villages created the Children’s Champions Fund to protect these critical programs that rely on private philanthropy. Contributions to the Children’s Champions Fund strengthen the range of unique and proven interventions Father Joe’s Villages’ Therapeutic Childcare Center offers to children and families in need.
Visit my.neighbor.org/childrenschampions about how you can make a difference.