Saturday, September 26, 2009

September at the Shelter

September can be a busy month for teens and their families. Back-to-school preparation, end of the summer plans, switching into fall mode….there is certainly a lot to do this month! For many families, however, it can also be a stressful time. Will there be enough money for school supplies? What kind of grades will be brought home this semester? What is going on at home when parents are still at work? There are many concerns that families have, and many factors that contribute to these concerns. Fortunately, there is also a support for these families in crisis.
The Alternative House’s Teen Crisis Shelter is designed to serve families in need. If a teen is thinking about running away because of the arguments they’ve been having with their parents over school, if a parent does not know what to do because their child has been sneaking out of the house after curfew, or if a social worker needs information for a family that has been in conflict over a recent separation, the teen shelter is available to provide the needed services. Whether it is counseling over the phone on our toll-free 24-hour hotline, providing referrals and resources, or conducting individual, group, and family counseling with residents, the teen shelter helps families transition out of crisis.
Most recently, we helped a youth whose parent was hospitalized to find a safe and secure home with a relative, gave another youth a safe place to stay while she transitioned to a long-term mental health residential treatment center, and facilitated a reunification between a mother and her son, who had been out of the country for four years. Each month, no matter what time of year, brings positive changes to the lives of teens and families.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Opening Doors for Children

As the Development Director of Alternative House a big part of my job is to carry the message about our programs and services for homeless and at-risk youth and teens out into the community. I often speak to corporate, faith and civic groups. I enjoy telling them about how our programs help the young people we serve stay safe, stay in school, build their self esteem, learn valuable life skills and to become self-sufficient. I try to use examples of how our programs have helped individuals and families overcome difficulties.

What is even better then hearing me tell you these stories is to hear it directly from some of our clients and to meet some of our program staff. I would like to take the opportunity to tell you about the Alternative House second annual Benefit Breakfast Opening Doors for Children that will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2009. This event will be held at the Gannett Building in Mclean, it is free and it will only last one hour. During that hour our guests will hear from several of our clients, and have the opportunity to meet with program staff. You will also have the opportunity to see a video about Alternative House, meet our Executive Director and Board members.

Yes, this is a fundraising event. You will be asked for a donation. There is no donation too large or too small. We will consider this event a success if we are able to raise funds to continue providing our programs and services for youth, recruit new donors and volunteers who can offer us professional services. We want the opportunity to tell the Alternative House story to people who are interested in learning about us first hand.

If you would like to learn more about this event or you are interested in attending please contact me at 703 506-9191.