Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County: Two Stories

Single Father Raising 8 Children

One of the greatest impact stories from the Limestone Girls Club before they merged with the Boys Club to become Boys & Girls Club (BGC) of Lawrence County includes a local family of 8 children being raised by a single father. The ages of the children range from 3 years old to 17 years old. The family came to the attention of one of the girls club staff members and she found out that the family would be losing their home in less than a month.

The father had recently lost his job, there was very little food for 8 children and there was no where to go for this family. The staff person took it upon herself to help this family in whatever ways possible. She went through several local social service agencies to see where help could be found and she was able to find the dad a job with the City of Bedford. She found this family of 9 an income based apartment, got the beds, furniture, appliances, clothes, and everything they needed to move into a new apartment and a new life.

Two of the small girls enjoyed their time at the girls club each evening in the after school program. They were also given dental and eye care, as seven of the eight were in need of glasses. Folks through out the community gave generously to this family’s cause and we are very proud to say they are doing great!
 

First-Person Success Story: Chris Moorman, Junior Staff

The Thornton Memorial Boys Club truly is the “Positive Place For Boys.” I have been very blessed to be a member of the Boys Club for over ten years. I grew up playing sports such as football, baseball, basketball, and wrestling at the boys club. As I grew older I finally was given my chance to give back. My position as a Junior Staff member gave me the chance to mentor boys and taught me responsibility in the process. I credit former Executive Director Joe Klumpp and current Executive Director Jim Jackson with helping myself and countless other boys to grow into the young men that we are today. Our local Boys Club is a credit to the community and all who have a hand in making it what it is today.

LIFE: First-Person Testimony

I am a single lady and I'm 58 years old. I am disabled and get $552.00 a month. I have a car that is paid for, but I pay $25.96 a month insurance and around $50.00 a month for gasoline. I live in the same house where I have lived for a long time and it costs me $178.36 for my mortgage. Last month my gas, water, and electric altogether were $218.00. That only left me with less than $80.00. I have medicines that cost around $30.00 a month even with Medicaid.

About a year ago I had run up a charge at my grocery even though I get $130.00 a month in food stamps. I needed money for shampoo and toothpaste and stuff, I owed the pharmacy over $800.00 and I had my phone shut off which I need for medical emergencies. I owed a credit card and life insurance.

I have worked with a person from LIFE on budget counseling and have my phone hooked back up, they helped pay on my utilities so I don't owe behind stuff now. I am taking their cooking class and learning recipes that are cheaper than boxed stuff and how to shop better. I don't owe the grocery store any more and have paid a lot of the pharmacy bill. I still have a lot of work to do but it doesn't seem so scary anymore and I know that I can do it and that the LIFE pantry is there to help me. I won't ever be able to get more money. If I was able to have a job I would work all the time, all the hours they would let me but, because of my sickness I can't so I know I will always have this much money and so I am glad that I have learned how to live with this much money. I can have a good life and I am glad LIFE helped me and still helps me. They are good.

Hoosier Hills PACT: Amanda

Amanda originally came to our agency with her boyfriend Roger. The couple was homeless. Further details revealed that Amanda was eighteen years old and Roger was thirty-seven. They were not married, but Roger had been married twice before and we later learned that he was actually still married to his second wife.

Upon the first meeting with the couple, it was obvious that Roger was very controlling and manipulating. Amanda never spoke and Roger was doing all the talking. They came to our office seeking information on housing and from there the rest of the story unfolded. Amanda was eight months pregnant with her first child and was not prepared for becoming a mother.

Our office began to dig deeper into the story and we found that Roger was a convicted child molester, who had molested his own two young daughters. We became increasingly alarmed over this situation. They returned to our office several times over the next few weeks to use the phone or to get additional information. We also suspected that they were trying to find a place where they could spend some time and keep warm. During this time, Amanda’s sister, Amy, made several phone calls to our agency on Amanda’s behalf. The baby, a girl, was born shortly before Christmas. Amy called asking for help to get the baby some items. The couple had nothing for the newborn. Our agency provided them with an assortment of baby items including, sleepers, diapers, undershirts, socks, bottles, bath items, a winter coat, etc…

Over the next two weeks we were told by Amy that the couple was still homeless and were moving around often and staying with anyone who would take them in. Amy called on one occasion and said that the couple had moved in with her and her family. This was not a viable solution for the couple because Amy already shared a two bedroom house with her parents, two brothers, another sister, and her daughter. They only have a tow bedroom house this arrangement only lasted six days when an argument concerning the baby’s health arose. The baby became ill and Roger would not allow the family to take the baby to the doctor.

Amy called the next day distraught over the situation. She felt the baby was too ill to be moved around and the place they had gone to was not suitable for a baby. Amy was also concerned about Roger’s previous child molesting charges. We encouraged Amy to notify Child Protective Services about the couple and our office also made a call to CPS.

LifeDesigns: Jeff Taylor

Jeff and Tom Bennett, his case manager

Jeff was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1963. His family moved around the United States until finally settling down in Bedford, Indiana when Jeff was 14 years old. Jeff has dealt with cerebral palsy throughout his life with many trials and tribulations. For example, at the age of 10, Jeff had surgery to stretch the tendons in his legs so he could walk better and was in a body cast from the waist down for months. 6 years ago, Jeff's family enlisted Options for Better Living to receive residential services. These services were very minimal because Jeff's mother refused extended services and was doing most of his care at the age of 80-. Options staff would take Jeff out in the community for 6 to 9 hours a week doing grocery shopping and going bowling,

In April of 2004, Jeff's mother had suffered some health problems and was in the hospital. Jeff's sister had to move from Cincinnati to assist Jeff while there mother was in the hospital, since there were no 24 hours services in place for Jeff. Jeff's mother was placed in a nursing home during her recovery and Jeff moved form his home to the same nursing home in order to be closer to her. During his mother's recovery period, Options introduced the idea of 24 hour service for Jeff to his sister. Although the family was very apprehensive, it was explained to them that Jeff would lose his Medicaid waiver if action were not taken immediately because one month is the maximum someone can stay in a nursing home and still keep their waiver. Options worked diligently with Jeff's family, his new case manager, and hiring staff to get him to be able to come home and live with his mother when she recovered.

Currently Jeff and his mother are living happily at home with 24 hour services from Options. Jeff's sister, who is also his Advocate and Power of Attorney, is very pleased with Jeff's services and his continued growth and independence. Jeff has 3 jobs volunteering now, one of which is at the Options office in Bedford. He also does household chores, grocery shopping, bowling, is a member of the Options Leadership Team, and will soon be getting internet access to work on his webpage and email his friends and family. He also has a brand new wheelchair and may soon be getting a talking communication board. This major turn in Jeff's life has greatly increased his choices, access to community and relations with those in the community.

Options for Better Living, Inc is a nonprofit organization that supports people with a variety of disabilities to live, work, and be part of their communities. The mission of Options is to partner with individuals with disabilities and their communities to bring about self-directed and fulfilled lives. Options serves over 230 people in south central Indiana. It offers person centered service, enabling customers and their families to make their own choices about the support they need for community life. The following story is the third in a series illustrating the power of community support and Options services.

For more information about Options services, 1-800-875-9615, or visit our website at www.optionsfbl.com.