We’re not just building a home. We’re building a tool for self reliance. Kids aging out of the foster care system without a permanent family are three times more likely to drop out of school and become homeless within one year of moving out on their own.
Ashley’s mother was not able to provide adequate and consistent supervision because of her drug abuse. Ashley has never known her birth father but he is rumored to be in the mafia. Ashley’s early childhood was marred by sexual abuse at the hands of a foster brother, and she suffered from depression. When the pressures came down on Ashley, she made a serious suicide attempt, so she was placed with Youth Homes. Ashley responded well to the consistency Youth Homes offered, compared to the chaos and abuse she had endured for years. Ashley did well with nurturing, individualized attention, clear directions, explanations of consequences, and positive reinforcement. She learned to advocate and express herself in a positive manner, as well as accept feedback and redirection. At 15, she is hoping to go to a healthy foster home where she can become a “normal” teenage girl.
Damien arrived at Youth Homes under immense personal stress and with difficulties that most adults would find overwhelming. His gregarious, generous and kind-hearted nature was evident from the beginning, but it was shielded by the difficult circumstances in which he was placed. Damien had been recently diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes and was still learning how to live with its challenges when his mother was paralyzed in an accident. Damien’s mood swings from the disease were compounded by the painful cloud of his mother, and primary care giver, being suddenly swept away; hurt and too far away to visit. Damien found a safe and structured place to stay with Youth Homes as he and his mother began the healing process, and with time, were reunited under the same roof.
Hope’s early childhood consisted of an abusive, alcoholic father and a very unstable mother. Hope’s father eventually left the family and they spent the next few years moving from state to state. During this time, the family stayed in random houses, and Hope and her siblings were abused by strangers. When the family arrived in Montana, Hope’s mother became more distant, and Hope was never sure where she would sleep or if she’d be safe. Eventually Child and Family Services removed Hope from the run down motel room she, and several other people, lived in and placed her with Youth Homes until her mother could stabilize. Instead, her mother and siblings abandoned Hope and left the state. Hope was then placed in group care so she could learn to trust adults, and just recently, was placed with a therapeutic foster family through the Dan Fox Family Care Program. She now has a brand-new bedroom she calls home and has adults in her life who will keep her safe.