Eleven-year-old Aaron came to us recently.
He arrived at one of our crisis & assessment centers, and the whole family was with him. The car was packed – with mom, two siblings, the family dog – assorted bags and suitcases.
You would think they were about to go on family vacation. But, in fact, they were living out of their car.
Housing insecurity was part of the mental health crisis Aaron was experiencing. But he had bigger issues too, and he needed immediate attention.
Our crisis & assessment centers are for kids – with histories of mental illness, neglect, or trauma – who need specialized assessment and a plan for getting help.
It took our staff a few hours to convince Aaron to go inside this new place. He was understandably afraid. But in time he climbed on top of the car, where his belongings were stored, pulled out his clothes, and –
as he headed inside, his brother and sister asked if they could stay too – because *they all* had been treated with kindness, because they wanted a safe place to stay, because they didn’t want to be apart.
Aaron’s story hurts. But if you know us, you know this already: Sending Aaron’s siblings off to live another day in the family car was *not an option.* We put the family immediately into a hotel and made arrangements for long-term housing and other care for the children.
Our work cannot happen without you. Your support gives children hope and an understanding that they are part of something bigger. They are part of a family and a community that cares.