A CityHeart Moment | Helping Children at Risk
Late on a Thursday afternoon the Intake person for CityHeart received a call from an elementary school counselor who was calling to see if we could help a family whose water had been turned OFF!
The school official explained that they had just become aware of the situation, and if not resolved right away, the school would be forced to report the situation to the Montgomery County Children’s Services. This action would put the children at risk of being removed from the home, and potentially cause the parent to lose her support for the housing.
CityHeart‘s growth has necessitated our normal response time to be within 24-48 hours, but our keen Intake volunteer recognized that this was an extreme case and immediately brought it to the attention of the Executive Director. With school dismissed and most organizations closed for the day, we promised to give the situation our full attention on Friday morning. The case was assigned to the Resource Specialist of the day who first spoke with the mother, then made a few phone calls, and quickly negotiated the payment of $142.00 to restore the water service to this household with six children before the end of day!
We learned that the financial problems started because an abusive relationship had existed there and the woman quit her job to stay home and protect her children from an ex-husband. We were very happy to know that someone in the school was aware of CityHeart services and that they reached out to call us just in time to avoid getting things caught up in a larger, more problematic scenario.
Once we had the immediate crisis under control, we realized that attention should also be given to the root cause of the emergency. CityHeart, working in collaboration, has ensured that the family will receive continued care from Catholic Social Services who specializes in this type of situation. Their “Neighbors helping Neighbors” program will work with the mother and children to secure the best possible resources for their emotional healing and long term stability.
Kris Sexton, September 2018