“When I was 17, I found high school tough. I wasn’t getting along with my mother and didn’t fit in with the other kids. I became depressed. As a way of feeling close to someone, I had sex. I became pregnant. My mother wanted
me out of the house and took me to the Youth Crisis Center. Most people stay there few
days, but I was there a month.
“The Crisis Center staff counseled me and my family. I returned home to have my baby,
but I couldn’t stay there. I enrolled in Lighthouse Transitional Living Program for young moms and their babies.
“Today I am in college and look forward to the
time I can be a Lighthouse volunteer.
“What does Lighthouse mean to me? When I felt like no one cared, someone cared. Even today there are people that I trust and can call. Lighthouse is all about building community and relationships. I can testify firsthand how much the support means.”
– Youth Crisis Center and Transitional Living Client
Christine is a single 21-year-old female with two daughters, ages two and four years. While living with her boyfriend, also the father of her youngest child, she fell victim to domestic violence and became homeless.
With no place to call home, she found herself “couch surfing,” shuttling among friends and relatives. It was almost impossible to find work as she lacked a permanent address and had two young children. She became desperate and sought refuge at a homeless shelter. There, a social worker suggested the Lighthouse Transitional Living Program.
Once admitted into the program, Christine received furnished apartment. Her case manager helped her budget, develop parenting skills, and locate daycare. She secured a part-time job, but as a “people person” she wanted a career in the medical field. As a first step, she decided to become a certified nursing assistant. With help from Job Corps and the support of Lighthouse, she now attends school full time. Christine sees a future for herself and her children.
“When I got in trouble and was sent to Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek, I was pretty bad off. I was addicted to dangerous drugs and filled with a rage that would scare most people. But not Lighthouse.
“Everyone at Lighthouse encouraged me to change. They told me that the life I was living was going to kill me. When I was hard-headed, they would push a little harder, all the while leaving the decision up to me.
“Finally I had a life-altering experience that caused me to listen. As my attitude and behavior changed, I started receiving extra privileges and benefits. Best of all, was a clean conscience. I loved it. Before, I got what I wanted through manipulation and scheming. This was the first time in my life that I could be proud of my accomplishments.
“With a lot of work and determination, I completed the Paint Creek Program. After that, I enrolled in the Lighthouse Independent Living Program. It was then that my dream of living on my own came true. I was given an apartment and help from the Lighthouse staff . I thought…after coming this far, I can’t mess up now. So I kept everything that I learned at Paint Creek in the front of my mind.”
– Paint Creek Client
Sarah is a single mom whose firstborn had developmental delays. She enrolled in Help Me Grow when pregnant with her second, who is now three years and aging out of program.
When Sarah entered the program, she was unemployed and living in a public housing development. During her time with Lighthouse, she met regularly with her service coordinator and worked to reach her established goals. Her self-esteem increased to the place where she could end a destructive relationship with a boyfriend. She has a job, a driver's license, and a car. She works full time, has stable daycare for her children, and plans to pursue a nursing degree.
Having multiple placements by the age of 6, Thomas was a “lost child.” He had been sexually abused, suffered emotional setbacks, and as a result, was behind in school. Because of the severe nature of the abuse, Thomas had no contact with family members.
The court referred Thomas to Lighthouse Foster Care. A recently licensed foster parent over the age of 60 “stepped up to the plate” and agreed to take Thomas into her home. He is now happy, thriving, and has come a long way toward resolving his issues. The two have been together for four years, and the foster parent describes the relationship as win-win for both of them.