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Providence House

Johnny and Brittany (2012)

“I am always thanked for serving my country. But it is I who thanks Providence House for taking care of my boys so that I can serve knowing that they are safe and loved.”

Johnny and Brittany (2012)

Johnny was deployed to a naval combat zone with the 7th Fleet, and his wife, Brittany was struggling with sobriety and mental health issues and recognized that she needed support in caring for the children. The family did not know where to turn for support with their 3-year-old and 1-year-old sons– until they found Providence House.

Johnny needed to fulfill his duty to his country, and Brittany needed to seek help; they both desperately needed somewhere to turn. Fortunately, they were referred to Providence House by Brittany’s Division of Children and Family Services caseworker as she was transitioning into a treatment program.. Knowing that what they each needed to do would not allow them to care for their boys, they admitted Johnny and Matthew at Providence House.

Older brother Johnny and his younger brother Matthew were very busy during their stay at Providence House. Johnny showed significant improvement in his speech development after attending speech therapy, and Matthew was updated on all of his immunizations. They participated in daily activities like arts and crafts, storytime, and educational activities; they went on ?eld trips to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, the Aquarium, and the Zoo; and they got to play and laugh with other children their age. One of the most memorable moments of their stay was Matthew’s ?rst birthday party. Surrounded by balloons, decorations, children, staff, and volunteers, Matthew smiled and giggled as they sang him Happy Birthday – just seconds before he ate his very own birthday cake. While his ?rst birthday party wasn’t complete without mom and dad, Matthew experienced love, happiness, and laughter with his Providence House family.

While Providence House provides comfort, fun, and love, nighttime can still be scary and lonely for children who miss mommy and daddy. Many children go to bed uncertain of what tomorrow may bring. They miss the bedtime rituals they had with their parents. Before their dad shipped out, he ?lmed himself reading a favorite bedtime story to his boys so they could see him every night while he was away. Young Johnny was especially mesmerized by the image of his dad reading to him onscreen, closely watching his father as he read one of his favorite bedtime stories to him. In these special moments, these little boys had the opportunity to stay connected to their dad, no matter how far the distance between them may be.

Parents or guardians who bring their children to Providence House come from all walks of life and nearly every situation imaginable. Providence House works together with parents and guardians to create a road map for their time with Providence House, including their engagement in visitation, parent support programs, and case management. Brittany visited her boys regularly while she was receiving treatment. She worked closely with our licensed social workers on her case plan twice a week while also working on her mental health and substance use issues. Brittany participated in the Parent Support and Education Program to build upon her strengths and work on needs she identified, including budgeting, developing family rituals, and learning play activities to help encourage the continued developmental growth of both boys.

It was an exciting day when dad returned from his overseas deployment, and the family was reunited. The family relocated to Maryland, where Johnny is stationed at Patuxent River Naval Base.

The foundation that is built for children and families at Providence House is vital to the long-term success of the family as a whole. This responsibility begins when a family makes the dif?cult choice to bring their children to Providence House. Johnny and Brittany made this heart-wrenching choice for his family as he left to protect his country, stating in a letter to us, “I am always thanked for serving my country. But it is I who thanks Providence House for taking care of my boys so that I can serve knowing that they are safe and loved.”

Whether it’s a military deployment, a health crisis, domestic violence, homelessness, or other issues, Providence House is always here to protect children and support families. It is our mission. It is our passion. It is our honor to serve our community’s children.

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