Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's Always a First Time

Well, today I witnessed a first at Promise House.  A 20-year old young woman walked in off the street with three (3) children (4 month-old twins and a toddler).  I've seen that before, so what is the first?  Well, she has ANOTHER child living with a relative who is 4 years old, we think. 

HOW does this happen?  Well, I know HOW it happens, but HOW in the bigger picture does this happen?  Twenty years old and four (4) children.....I can't even wrap my head around it. 

Unfortunately for her, we can't take her in due to the number of children she has.  We were, however, able to find her shelter elsewhere and load her up with baby supplies, food, etc.  She can also come here during the day to get help from our street outreach case managers to access all kinds of support services for her and her children.

But back to the HOW.  This child needs help!  Not only housing, etc., but she needs to know how her body works, how this keeps happening, and how to KEEP it from happening again. She needs help learning to say NO and learning that she is worthwhile.  She needs, yes I'm going to say it, Sex Education, badly!

 And, I'd bet untold amounts of money that she needs help working through physical or sexual abuse issues from her past.

And where are the men who are also responsible for these children? 

This is such a complex and emotionally charged issue that it would take me weeks to write it all here.  So, let me just say that when I see a young girl (and she is a girl) like this, I go through such a range of emotions that are hard to harness.  And since she is the first one I've seen in my 15 years at PH with 4 kids at her age, it's especially hard. 

I can only hope that she will stay connected with us.....because if she does, she WILL get help and she WILL figure out how to manage her life and give her kids a better future than she was given.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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