December 20, 2010

Christmas Blessings

Jeremy and his mom are Door of Hope residents who came to the facility in August. As an only child, Jeremy doesn’t have siblings, or family, other than his mom to interact with. When he first came to Door of Hope, he had a difficult time acclimating to facility, and interacting with the other kids and staff. He would rarely talk at all, and when he did he was extremely sarcastic. Most people would simply give Jeremy his space, but the Door of Hope staff and residents made a decision to not give up on Jeremy. They continued to talk to him, invite him to join in activities, and mentor him. After a while, Jeremy started to open up. He began to join group activities, interact with the other kids, and was polite to the staff. His grade started to improve at school, which gave him more confidence. Before, Jeremy would not participate in the homework study groups with the rest of the kids, because he was embarrassed about his grades and his remedial studies. But when he started to excel, he was more than happy to show off his good grades to everyone.
 “I think it was a matter of Jeremy getting used to the Door of Hope environment and getting used to everyone,” says a staff member. “Plus, I think the fact that we didn’t give up on him played a big role in him coming around.” Not only is Jeremy doing well, his mom recently got a job, and a promotion, as well as a housing voucher. The family is looking forward to spending Christmas with their Door of Hope family and seeing what wonderful things are in store for them in the New Year.

November 5, 2010

Love and Stability at Door of Hope

      Julia is a 12-year-old girl who lives at Door of Hope with her mom and three brothers. Her family escaped a violent home situation, only to have the children placed in foster care. While in foster care, Julia and her siblings were frequently underfed, and had to change schools often. Her brothers and her have attended eight different schools since January.  Once the children were out of foster care, the family moved from shelter to shelter. Each new shelter meant a new school for Julia and her brothers. After months of living in different shelters, Julia’s family applied to live at Door of Hope. 
     Since living at Door of Hope, Julia and her family spend each night together. The children have a stable school situation now, and Julia has been able to make friends at school and at Door of Hope. She is extremely happy to be with her family, especially her mom. She is able to talk about her foster care experience with a counselor, and the Door of Hope staff, which is helping her heal. Most importantly, Julia is now in a situation where she’s surrounded by people who love and care for her.  

November 1, 2010

Volunteers Make a Difference

Brian is a 13 year-old Door of Hope resident. He is the oldest of four children, and he takes care of his mom. Brian has no men in his life, so he is the “man of the house.” This lack of male influence has caused Brian to shoulder much of the family responsibilities - well beyond the normal requirements of a 13 year-old. The pressure and stress eventually led him to become withdrawn, and caused his schoolwork to suffer. It became evident to the Door of Hope staff that Brian needed a strong male authority figure in his life.
Kevin came to Door of Hope as a volunteer. He brings his guitar to play for the kids. After his first night as a volunteer, Kevin taught Brian a few songs on the guitar. It became apparent that Kevin would be the perfect mentor for Brian. After a few days in prayer, Kevin agreed to mentor Brian on a regular basis. He now spends three hours a week with Brian, teaching him guitar and jiu-jitsu.
“I’ve seen such an amazing transformation in Brian since getting just a little bit of time with someone who genuinely cares for him and can spend time with him one-on-one,” says one of the directors. “It’s so important to never underestimate the power of giving a kid your undivided attention, regardless of how much time you have to give.”