Jeff and Charlie
Jeff and Charlie, thirteen-year-old twins, came to Friends of Youth’s Youth Haven after their mother was evicted from her apartment. The boys’ Aunt Debbie had called the emergency shelter’s intake line and asked if the boys could be housed temporarily. Their mother suffered from substance abuse and mental health issues and was unwilling to get help, so the boys were left without proper care.
It soon became apparent to the program staff that the boys themselves, due in large part to their mother’s situation, had many issues to resolve, from antisocial behavior to poor school performance. Their feelings toward their mother were extremely conflicted; in fact one of the boys got into a physical confrontation with her when she came to visit them at the shelter. Over time, however, they began to adapt to the structured and positive environment at Youth Haven, and were soon prepared to begin a new chapter in their lives: their Aunt Debbie and her partner had agreed to be their guardians.
Three or four months later, the Youth Haven program manager called Debbie to check on the boys’ wellbeing. Debbie’s first words were, “You’ll think it's impossible.” She then explained that the boys were getting A's and B's in school and were following a very structured life in her house. Additionally, they were continuing therapy with an outside counselor arranged for by the program manager. Debbie thanked Youth Haven profusely for its helpful staff, for its services, and for the empathy shown by everyone involved with the boys’ lives.
Note: Names of clients and their family members have been changed to protect their privacy.