2018 Annual Appeal: There’s No Place Like Home
Northern Children’s Services is many things to many people. We serve over 1000 children on our campus in Roxborough for therapy, behavioral management, tutoring and other after-school programs. We work with over 350 children in the Philadelphia schools with behavioral health services. Some of our services place children for adoption or foster care.
Northern also supports about 26 young women with children with apartments and support and provides services such as parenting classes and counseling. These young women have faced violence, abuse and neglect. Some have incarcerated and/or addicted parents. Many struggle both academically and socially in school or have dropped out. This is one young woman’s success story after finding Northern:
My name is Samara. When I came to Northern through the foster care system a few years ago, I had nothing. I was 19 years old with two small children and about to become homeless. I was also not in school and had no job. I had no support system I could count on.
I was six years old when my mother died. Because my father was not around to take care of me, I was moved to and from many foster homes. At 15, I had my first child and my second at 17. We were placed in an apartment with support from the Department of Human Services (DHS). After the DHS subsidy ran out a few years later we lost the apartment.
Then we found Northern. When I got to Northern, I cried tears of happiness. The campus is made for families. Everyone is treated equal here and needs are always met. Northern encourages you to go to school or to work. Staff helped me achieve my goals for myself and my kids. We also had fun.
When I was at Northern, my father never once visited me. None of my family did, but staff made me feel at home and cared for. I felt like I had a support system behind me. When I felt down, I always had someone to talk to – and I still do. I feel like Northern was a backbone for me and my family.
Being a single mom of two at a young age is a very hard job. Northern helped me accomplish a lot in the course of a year. Living at Northern I was able to save and budget money and also gain more parenting skills from classes they held every week. It was a struggle, but I got through it. Now I have my own place again, a three story home that is big enough for me and my kids.
I’m working to complete my GED. I plan on attending college in a year or so. I dream of becoming a therapist to help younger girls like myself. Another goal is to keep my home with enough money to pay for it on my own.
Northern needs your support. Your donation helps keep us going and able to provide critical, healing program services and continue to be a sanctuary to the children and young families we serve, as Northern was for me.