Becoming Extended Family

When a crisis strikes, many of us rely on family and friends for support. But for some families, poverty and social isolation mean they have no support networks when they need them the most. The Safe Families model is built upon providing family-like supports in order to stand in the gap for families dealing with a crisis in a vacuum. We love when we hear from parents who want to share their stories as a means of encouragement to Safe Families and the devoted volunteers who open their hearts and homes to keep families together.

“Hello! My name is Cynthia. My journey with Safe Families started nearly three years ago when I was alone and afraid with one child and one on the way. I couldn’t believe that my life had gotten to this point, I was living in isolation and couldn’t comprehend that I literally had nowhere to go but the shelter. My life was a daily battle, struggling to be the mom I needed to be during a time I was dealing with mental health issues. It didn’t seem like there was even room enough to come up for air, and then one day it was as if an angel appeared and introduced Safe Families into my life.

I was so scared and apprehensive at first, because it was Christmas time, but I needed to prepare so that I could ensure the state would not intervene and take my children away. My Safe Families Host Family was nothing short of wonderful! We met a few times before my need ever presented itself so I would feel comfortable. They welcomed my boys with love and compassion. and to this day still love and cherish the Barron Family! We all do! With their help and the help of another Safe Families volunteer who took us under her wing, we learned about God and the wonderful things He could do in our lives! And things began to improve.

I secured housing and was blessed with everything needed to furnish my new home from generous volunteers and church. We have remained in contact but have since moved and God placed the most perfect family in our path through Safe Families. My mom passed away years ago and my real father was never around, nor was my children’s father. They longed for this bond. Their hearts broke without it. Upon moving, I injured my back and was in the hospital for awhile and in a wheelchair. It was time for the boys to go to the new Host Family, and again I was nervous. My anxiety mounted. I’m not sure why, God knows what he is doing and we just have to trust that.

This new Host Family are now the grandparents my children never had. They have their own room at their house. They go to visit even when there is no need…just the want and desire to see their loving grandparents and spend time at their house! I love this Safe Families in its entirety! From the staff who arrange the meetings and placement to the Host parents who open their homes and hearts, none of them meet me with judgment! I have never felt more valued and now have a permanent extended family through Safe Families for Children. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

– Cynthia, Mama Bear