Emily C., Single Mother (caring for 3 children)
Emily found herself in an unimaginable situation. Emily’s long-time partner was being abusive and violent toward her and her three children. She desperately needed to escape her home in New York City to find refuge and safety for her children – ages 4, 7 and 9. Not having anywhere else to turn, a relative in Los Angeles offered to help. With the promise of a place to call home while she got on her feet, Emily moved across the country with her children to find a better life.
But within days of arriving, Emily’s hope would crumble. Unexpectedly, the relative was no longer able to allow Emily and her children to stay in her home. In the blink of an eye, Emily and her children were homeless.
Emily’s challenges compounded on each other. Emily and her young children needed housing, healthcare, and mental health support for ongoing trauma related to the domestic violence. In order to create a stable home for her family, Emily also needed help finding a job and re-enrolling in school to further her career.
It was at this point that Emily walked through the doors of St. John’s Well Child & Family Center seeking help. St. John’s is the primary entry point for the eight organizations who make up Partners for Children South L.A. Once Emily arrived at St. John’s, she was connected with a care coordinator who worked closely with Emily to ensure her family received all the services they needed without having to seek out individual organizations. They were taken to a family-oriented homeless shelter so the family could remain intact. The children received immediate health care at St. John’s and were enrolled in mental health programs through Children’s Institute, Inc. Emily was also enrolled in a domestic violence program and received employment services.
Within five months of enrollment into Partners for Children’s Early Childhood System of Care, Emily’s family made incredible progress – they transitioned from the homeless shelter and entered into permanent housing through the help of PATH – Beyond Shelter, receiving assistance with their security deposit and up to three months of rent. On top of this, Emily is able to afford her new apartment long term because she found a job and enrolled in an accounting program at Los Angeles Community College. Emily has completed a domestic violence program with the Institute for Maximum Human Potential and is attending regular mental health sessions at St. John’s Well Child & Family Center. Through therapy, Emily reported that she and her children are feeling more and more settled in her new life.
Thanks to Partners for Children, Emily’s children no longer have to worry about where they will be sleeping, who will be taking care of them, or whether they will be safe. Emily’s story illustrates the power of Partners for Children’s collaborative approach. Not only did her family receive the services they desperately needed in a moment of crisis, but Partner for Children’s partner organizations worked in unison to support Emily in establishing a foundation of stability and opportunity for her children to prosper.
Zoila A., Pregnant/Parenting Teen (caring for 1 child)
During a medical visit at St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, Zoila learned of Partners for Children South L.A., as the pediatrician felt Zoila, as a teen mom of a 7-month old, could benefit from added support. After Zoila’s initial intake/assessment was conducted, a care plan was created for Zoila’s family with the following goals: 1) Find permanent housing, as she was living with her parents and needed to move out; 2) Find child care for the baby; 3) Enroll in the Pregnant/Parenting Teen Peer Support Group at St. John’s; 4) Receive baby donations (diapers, wipes, etc.); and 5) Find employment.
Working very closely with her primary care coordinator, in just 3 months, through support from Partners for Children’s partner agencies, Zoila moved into her new apartment (PATH-Beyond Shelter), the baby received child care services (Crystal Stairs, Inc.), Zoila actively participates in one of the weekly Pregnant/Parenting Teen Peer Support Group (St. John’s), and Zoila receives monthly donations of diapers and baby wipes (St. John’s). Lastly, building on her experience in the support group and recognizing her great leadership potential, Zoila was hired as one of the co-facilitators for a new Pregnant/Parenting Teen Peer Support Group that was launched (Para Los Niños).
Zoila has come a long way in such a short period of time. She is very resilient and committed to being the best mother that she can be — making sure that her son has the best chance at life.