When we asked Faith (not her real name) to tell us her story about the Y’s Supervised Visitation Program, she did what many people do: She went to a coffee shop to write.
Type, delete. Type, delete. She just couldn’t find the words.
She went to the Upper Room at the Y. It’s the place where Faith had spent so much supervised time with her daughter. On the wall are the Y’s Values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. These are values Faith has learned to hold dear.
Looking back scares Faith. She knows just how close she came to losing everything. Substances had a strong hold on her. So strong, Child Protective Services insisted all the time she spent with her children be supervised.
Childhood trauma, domestic violence and suicide attempts color her life’s story. Her heart ached from the brokenness inside of her.
Her three children held the shreds of Faith’s life together. Even in the fog and disconnection of addiction, she knew her children deserved better. In her words, “God was telling her something was wrong.”
The Y’s Supervised Visitation Program provides supervised visitations and exchanges to families who are court or otherwise ordered (like Faith) or those who have mutually agreed to have supervised visitations and exchanges. The Y provides a supervisor and a positive, healthy environment in which to interact. The presence of a supervisor reduces family vulnerability to violence and trauma. Sometimes, supervisors are simply present. Other times, they make suggestions or offer perspective.
During her Supervised Visits at the Y, Faith was surrounded by families: families that modeled what positive, healthy interactions looked like. Faith came to crave those interactions.
While those initial supervised visits were Faith’s rock bottom, Members at the Y gave her inspiration to change her life.
Today, Faith is filled with faith, hope, love, security, strength and sobriety. She’s replaced her circle of bad influences with a circle of faith-filled people who support her new life choices.
Faith credits many people and organizations in the community with helping her find a new path. She’s re-building her life and her relationship with her children.
While Faith credits the Y and it’s Supervised Visitation Program for the inspiration, she gives all glory for her changes to God. She quotes Psalm 34:
“I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame.”
Right now, Michelle Pape and David DeBlieck are working to raise money to support the Y’s Supervised Visitation Program. We’re asking if 2,000 Y Members would consider voting for Michelle and David with a $20 gift. Why 2,000? Because that’s how many families will use the service in 2019.