As a child, I experienced neglect from my parents. They did not pay attention to us. They were too involved in what they were doing and were absent most of the time. They did not parent us; they let us do whatever we wanted. Because I did not have good role models for parents, I did the same thing. I did not know anything about being a good mom. I was absent for much of my son’s first year. My son lived with my brother, and I lived day-to-day in a tent or wherever I could find for almost a year. I did not see my son very often and was not a good role model for him. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I knew I had to do something different.
I was referred to New Phoebe House, where I reunified with my son after ten months of not having him because I had been homeless and using drugs. He was 13 months old, not talking or walking. He would whine to get what he wanted. I did not know what to do, so I held him most of the time. Staff helped me teach him to walk and use words and how to take care of him. I was able to learn to be his mom before my youngest son was born. The staff has really helped me learn how to be a mom. Since my second son was born, they have helped me cope with being a new mom to two children. I was not used to having a child and now I have two. It was really hard, but the staff are helping me.
New Phoebe House is helping me become a parent. Before New Phoebe House, I was more worried about myself than what my son needed. At New Phoebe House, I can provide a safe place for my one-year-old son and newborn son while I learn what I need to stay clean and sober and be a good mom. I can now bond with my children and provide basic needs for them.
New Phoebe House staff take the time to give us guidance on what we need to work on. Through parent coaching, I learned that in order to bond with your child you have to spend time with them and get on their level. You have to be consistent and use time-outs, so they learn. A mother has to be the guide and show her children love so they thrive. Through parent coaching I have also gained knowledge about my sons’ development so I can respond to their needs better. I have learned that it is important to put my kids first, no matter what.
Without New Phoebe House, I would be without my children, homeless, and still using drugs. I would not know how to be a mom.
The women we serve at New Phoebe House are often affected by domestic and sexual violence from a young age. The trauma of violence leaves many of the women with low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth, adding to their desire to self-harm and use drugs and alcohol. We recognize that many of the women can benefit from an ongoing support group to help them understand the impact of violence and trauma while gaining coping skills and building self-esteem and self-worth as part of our whole woman recovery approach.
New Phoebe House is excited to announce we now offer a domestic violence and sexual trauma support group for our residents. Using trauma-sensitive curriculum to further support the women in their recovery process, the group started this August by covering some fundamentals of understanding domestic and sexual violence and survivor reactions to such traumas. It is important to start with this foundation so each woman has an understanding of how domestic and sexual trauma can and has impacted her life.
The women can now begin working to empower themselves to build positive self-esteem and self-worth, self-sufficiency, resiliency, and move one step closer to their recovery goal. This group will focus on building skills and knowledge that will enable the women to better understand and deal with the results of the trauma they have faced in the past. Art, music, a variety of discussion topics, and self-help curriculum will be used to promote the goals of the group.
Other important components of the group include working on: understanding and building healthy relationships, managing feelings and thoughts in healthy ways, expressing self in positive ways, and identifying positive people in one’s life to help in overcoming the effects of violence. The women will also work on ways to protect their children from such violence in order to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence.
Safety is very important to us at New Phoebe House. A lot goes on in a house with over a dozen families (each with very young children). What’s more, our surrounding neighborhood doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to crime and safety.
To better monitor the safety of the women and children, we have surveillance cameras on site. It has become apparent we are reaching a point where we should expand our system. We hope to replace our current surveillance system with one that includes 4-5 cameras, so we can better ensure the safety of the women and children in and around the house.
Here’s where you come in: if you, or someone you know, would like to donate a surveillance camera system, please contact us! You can call (253) 383-7710, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t know anyone, please help us spread the word!