Andrea's Transformation at St. Anne's Place
Andrea came to St. Anne’s Place with her three sons, ages 13, 8 and 1. Andrea had a history of substance abuse issues, mental health challenges, and had difficulty securing and maintaining stable housing. When she first entered St. Anne's, Andrea kept her head down, made little eye contact and didn't smile. She struggled with parenting her three sons, consistently appearing frustrated and overwhelmed. Her one-year-old used aggression as a way to communicate with others, and hadn't yet begun to walk or talk.
While at St. Anne’s Place, Andrea participated in all groups and activities that were offered (e.g. parent support group, wellness activities). She found bedtime to be especially challenging for her youngest child, and worked with the Parent Educator to develop a consistent bedtime routine. The Parent Educator was able to help her limit fruit juice before bedtime (to decrease sugar intake), and create a more calm environment prior to her son's bedtime. While at the shelter, Andrea’s youngest child attended PICA daily, where he was able to interact with children his age and improve his social skills. Angela’s school-age children participated in tutoring weekly with St. Anne's Place volunteers and attended a week-long summer camp (Camp Northstar).
Throughout the family’s stay at St. Anne’s, staff noticed significant changes in Andrea’s interaction with her children, and as a result, the children’s behavior improved. The youngest child’s aggressive behavior decreased as his needs were met in new ways. By the time the family left, he was able to say a few words at a time, and was walking on his own. Andrea fervently pursued housing and was able to successfully move her family into a 3-bedroom apartment after three months at St. Anne’s Place. Upon exit, Andrea was smiling often, appeared more relaxed and confident in herself and in her parenting.