simply East Fund awards grant to B&GH

October 20, 2020

The Simply East Fund has awarded a $100,000 grant to support the children and families served by Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

“We are grateful for the support this grant is providing to our children and families,” said President Ricky Creech. “The Simply East Fund has provided increasing levels of funding each year as a testament to their belief in the services we provide to children, families and the community.”

The Simply East Fund is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of the economically challenged in eastern North Carolina by supporting local social service organizations through grants.

The grant provides general support to a variety of B&GH programs, ranging from the traditional residential program to the recently created Bright Hope program.

Bright Hope will be a no-fee, residential family-based treatment program run in partnership with Brunswick Christian Recovery Center. Joe Kennedy, an experienced therapeutic director, will be running Bright Hope on the Lake Waccamaw campus.

“Acceptance and belonging are crucial and should be preserved within all families,” said Kennedy. “In Bright Hope we will be using an ‘extended family model’ to collaborate with parents as they manage their recovery at Brunswick Christian Recovery Center.”

According to survey results published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one out of every three people knows someone with a substance abuse challenge. The survey further indicated that half of all people who drink are addicted to alcohol. About 38 percent of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder with 1 out of every 8 adults struggling with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.

“One way to prevent children from entering into the Department of Social Services system is to treat the parents and the children of substance use disorder,” said Kennedy. “This treatment strengthens their reunification as a healthy, substance-free family with the skills to build resiliency and succeed as a healthy family. This is something that is directly addressed in the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).”

Having childcare is a big hurdle for adults with substance use disorder according to Brunswick Christian Recovery Center CEO Josh Torbisch.

“What keeps parents from getting into recovery is not having someone to take care of their kids,” Torbisch said. “If they know that they have an option to go into a residential program that takes care of their children they may be more willing to go into the voluntary placement. It will keep the children out of the DSS system.”

The program includes family therapy, incorporating best practices from Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP) with a core model known as “Family Success!TM”.

“The purpose and goal of Bright Hope is to nurture the child as their parent or parents finish a successful program,” said Kennedy. “Bright Hope, although practiced in a family group setting, focuses on the individual strengths of each child. We look at each child, their unique set of needs, and how we can best serve the child and develop an individual plan for each child. We believe it is our responsibility to provide for our children a sense of belonging and feelings of self-worth. We believe the need for acceptance and love is vital to their success while living with us at Bright Hope as they prepare to be with their parents again.”

The Simply East Fund grant will also provide support to the Janet Mitchell Winstead Lake House program for teen-moms.

“Our program keeps mom and baby together,” said Program Director Doreen Williams. “We want to keep the new baby out of the foster care system and teach the new mother how to provide a safe, secure and loving environment for their children as they grow.”

The program operates on a predictable schedule with time for education, independent living skills, parenting skills, and therapeutic sessions to address behaviors stemming from the underlying trauma associated with abuse and neglect. The houses provide a private mother-child suite for each teen mother that is fully furnished with a bed, a crib, a changing table and dressers in which to place clothing and personal items.

During their stay, the mothers are exposed to different skill trainings and groups to prepare them for life beyond the house.

“A key goal for our program is to help these girls become independent and care for their children on their own without the support of the Department of Social Services as adults,” said Vice President for Community Based Services Donna Yalch. “By providing experiential learning supported by educational programs we are creating a foundation for success.”

The funds from the Simply East Fund will allow these programs, and others, to continue to meet the needs of children and families, according to Creech.

“Boys and Girls Homes has provided care for youth victims of abuse and neglect for more than 65 years,” Creech said. “Our services have evolved throughout the years to meet the needs of children and families now before us and supporters like the Simply East Fund allow us to continue to evolve.”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.