As a child, have you ever had something happen to you that caused you to be very upset? Did you see people you love get hurt? Did you ever feel like you were being attacked and there was no one to help you? Have you felt like it was you alone against the world?
Most people in the world have had an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). The most common are extreme physical danger, experiencing or witnessing abuse, experiencing or witnessing drug use especially among caregivers, neglect, homelessness, and bullying.
Maggie’s children experienced living with an abusive father, living with parents using drugs and not caring for them well, separation from their parents while in foster care, and the stress of homelessness.
Our bodies were made to protect us when we are threatened. They produce stress hormones that give us the energy to run way, fight back, or hide. If we meet a bear in the woods, they help us survive and keep us safe. But when we experience them on an everyday level, like living with an abusive parent or never knowing where you will sleep tomorrow or next week, they become damaging. The stress hormones affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally. If a child has experienced four or more ACE’s, he or she or has much higher risk for significant adult health problems, drug use and criminal activity, and less chance to have healthy family relationships, good education, or job prospects.
At Community of Hope, we work to mitigate the consequences of repeated Adverse Childhood Experiences in the children as well as the adults. Our awesome staff is a huge part of this work. Darciea, one of our staff, says, “I myself have been through hard times, one being homeless for a year. I can relate to our residents and this gives me a unique opportunity to give the residents understanding, compassion and most of all hope. Hope that with the right tools and support they can overcome the barriers that have led them to becoming homeless. I never would have thought I would be working at a homeless shelter, but working with these amazing people and with a great staff has shown me that God truly does have a plan for everyone. Community of Hope is God’s plan for me and I am blessed to be a part of such a great service and a source of hope for those who feel hopeless.”
Will you join Darciea to help us change lives, restore health, and give children a better future? Together, can we raise enough to increase staff wages to closer to a living wage? Give to Community of Hope today to help families like Maggie’s.