Before coming to the UGM Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene, Nikki Downs was in jail. Her infant son had been taken by Child Protective Services, and her teenage daughter was living with her sister.
Today, Nikki is nearing completion of the LIFE Recovery Program, has both her children living with her and is doing her business practicum at the Kroc Center. She has been sober from alcohol for six years and clean from meth for 18 months.
Nikki speaks clearly about the reason for the change in her: “My personal relationship with the Lord and the fellowship with other people, but mainly, getting into the Word, reading what it says and applying it to my life. I find joy in that, and that’s very new.”
Many children at UGM with their moms have been through chaos, trauma, neglect, abandonment, or even abuse. Here are five things they need in order to heal and restore their relationship with their parents.
Moms who enter the UGM Recovery program at Anna Ogden Hall often have open cases with Child Protective Services. Staff like Kamee help them navigate all the requirements and successfully reunite with their children.
The emotional and psychological scars are not immediately visible, but they're just as real as the bruises. Helping homeless women and children takes time, consistent love and support, a commitment to building trust.
Meet Teria Kelley, the "House Mom with 70 Kids." She's Resident Services Coordinator at the Center for Women and Children, which helps women and families break cycles of homelessness, abuse and addiction.