Using a trauma-informed lens, Friends work persistently to build relationships with their youth and caregivers.
We started working with Will* and his family in September 2018. Will was living in a transitional housing program with his mother, Mary and younger brother when they enrolled in our program and were paired with a Friend. Within 2-3 months of joining our program, they were forced to move from their housing program. The family moved outside of our service area, and we were worried this would present a challenge for Mary as this would be a new environment for her and the kids.
Will's Friend quickly connected with Mary to help them adjust to their new environment. Unfortunately, within a few weeks, the mother could not maintain her housing due to communication challenges with the landlord, transportation and loss of employment. Will and his brother moved with their father. The Friend set up weekly meetings with Mary to help her find housing, employment, and obtain her residency card. Will's Friend continued to support her by joining her on phone calls and visiting housing programs together. There were moments where Mary would cancel and not return the Friend's calls and it would really interrupt their progress. Given the situation, we knew we had to give her space but continue to check-in with her. Unfortunately, Mary became very distant and began to ignore the Friends calls. but he was persistent and continued to reach out to Mary.
Although Mary and Will no longer live together, fast-forward 7 months later, she is slowly becoming more engaged in Will's life. She picks him up from school once a week and has joined Friend on outings. In addition, she has become more involved with Will's education. She now checks in with his teacher and even helps us get school data to monitor Will's growth in school. We’re hopeful to see them reunite in the near future!
*Name changed to protect their identity.