Every little bit helps. We can keep an entire household off the streets by making a few rent payments. We can keep another household warm in winter by paying their utility bills. Even a single, emergency meal keeps a child active and engaged at home and school that day. That’s why we cherish your donations, no matter the size.
But sometimes households have complex problems, and staff need to work long and hard to make a deep and lasting difference. Our Healthy Family home visiting program takes the long view when working with families. We offer services supporting families with newborns that can last until the child is three years old. A family support specialist meets weekly with families, offering advice and support to enhance child health and development, child safety, mom’s self-care, and family well-being.
Charles and Becky Meyers recently needed significant support from our program to get their lives back on track. Their twins Hallie and Zach were born prematurely, and had to receive intensive care in Portland for several months. Hallie had serious heart defects, and eventually needed open-heart surgery. Thankfully she recovered. In those initial months, the support specialist worked with the Meyers, helping them seek SNAP, TANF and SSI supports while connecting them with mental health, early intervention and many other services.
Tragically, when the Meyers were making arrangements to come back home to Douglas County, the friend they were living with committed suicide. The Meyers were now homeless. We were able to connect the Meyers to our Housing Stabilization Services program, where they obtained a voucher to live in a motel. While the voucher helped, the Meyers had to move nine times using the voucher to stay off of the streets.
But during this time, with the help and support of many, they took giant steps forward. They reconnected with Becky’s family. Charles was able to get a full-time job. Both children were released from health restrictions. Now, they are finally moving into their own new home, a two-bedroom duplex. Throughout, our staff not only provided a wealth of support and services, they were a constant source of care and comfort. We are so happy to see the Meyers moving on with their lives.