Youth Villages stories

photo of the front yard and home on a sunny day

Lack of suitable housing shouldn’t destroy a family

Jun 11, 2024 | Blog, Intercept

Clarksville organizations join forces to keep families together

Stable housing can make – or break – a family.

Due to the state of their single mom’s home, 10 children were at risk of being removed and experiencing the trauma that comes with it. At face value, the house was falling apart; it was not a suitable place to raise a family, and removal would be the right choice.

But Aubry Havens, a family support specialist at Youth Villages, took the time to get to know this mom and her circumstances. Mom showed her the many work orders and maintenance requests she had put in to try to get proper improvements made to the rental property. The landlord never followed through. This was not a home whose children lacked love and attention; it simply lacked proper resources.

“It’s rare that a family can’t stay together safely with the right support systems in place.” shared Havens, who works with families with various levels of involvement in the child welfare system and does everything she can to keep families together when it’s a safe option.

The Youth Villages team found a new unit in better condition for the family to move into. They also connected the mom with other organizations in Clarksville to ensure they had everything they needed to succeed.

The Tennessee Alliance for Kids provided all the children with beds and other furniture they needed, and CAB provided a new furniture set for their living room. The YAIPak Outreach team supplied clothes and other household items the mother needed. They also connected with the children’s schools, which helped with food and rides home. Another Youth Villages team member gave the family a Christmas tree, lights and ornaments for them to decorate for the holidays.

In addition to meeting their material needs, Youth Villages provides in-home mental health services to the family. Working with the children and mom together to address any behavior issues through intensive support, new parenting and communication skills, and evidence- and strengths-based mental health intervention service will ensure the family can remain healthy and stable long term.

We are truly excited to move into a new chapter in our life. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank everyone involved across the community for making our house a home.

- Mom

“This has been a great opportunity for me and my family to feel like we can transition into a better tomorrow.”

If you’d like to learn more about the impact of Intercept in Middle Tennessee and how you can support year-round, click here.

To protect the privacy of children in the foster care system, the names and identifying details have been changed.

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