stories of hope
Since 1973, King's Home has been home to thousands of youth, women, and adult moms with kids seeking refuge and hope. Below are some of their stories.
Michael was admitted to one of our boy's moderate homes last summer and was not hesitant to voice how angry he was for being placed in a group home. Michael and his 2 younger sisters came into care after both his mother and grandmother passed away. His mother died when he was young and his grandmother raised him and his sisters. After the grandmother died, he and his sisters went to live with his aunt and uncle in Jefferson County. Michael was grieving and expressed it through anger and defiance and would often blow up. His aunt and uncle felt they could not manage his behaviors, so he was placed in 2 different foster homes, getting removed from both for these reasons. He was 13 years old and trying to make sense of being in DHR custody and living in a group home. He exhibited anger issues and defiance at King’s Home and at school. He was caught vaping and breaking rules several times. DHR arranged for him and his aunt and uncle to attend family counseling and provided training for his aunt and uncle to learn how to respond to his needs and behaviors. Michael began visiting on the weekend and holidays and his family reported these were more successful. Michael still continued to exhibit some verbal aggression but it greatly decreased. He was slowly learning how to process his anger and grief. The week before Christmas, Michael left to return to live with his family. He was very excited to resume living with his sisters. We are so proud of Michael and his progress.
Women & Children's Program
Jane came to King’s Home Bethany in December 2018. From the very beginning, Jane was motivated to find employment. She started out working for a temporary agency. While working temp jobs, she tested to be placed on the State registry for a job, and she was number one. Jane was hired to work for the State in June of 2019. While continuing to live at King’s Home, she was able to save money, purchase a car and recently moved into her own apartment. Jane is a wonderful testament for women to work hard finding hope and opportunity at King’s Home.
Sarah was with King’s Home for 3 years. Her dream was to be adopted and several times while Sarah was with us we thought an adoptive or foster family had been located. But, it just never came to fruition. Yet, Sarah never gave up, maintained a positive attitude and did well at King’s Home. As a high school senior, Sarah’s dreams turned toward college and during Christmas, she learned she was accepted to her first choice, Auburn University! Then in January 2019, another dream came true for Sarah. Because she was doing so well at King’s Home, a foster family that knew her asked her to join their family. Sarah was placed in their home and is excited about her upcoming high school graduation. We are thrilled and blessed to have been an integral part of Sarah’s dreams!
Jasmin came into DHR custody after allegations that her mother’s boyfriend has sexually abused her. After investigations and assessments, it was discovered that 2 of her mother’s boyfriends had sexually abused Jasmin over a period of years. Jasmin was experiencing thoughts of self-harm and serious episodes of depression. Jasmin reports being depressed, scared, questioning her sexual orientation, and ready to give up. Jasmin was admitted to Hillcrest Intensive Unit for treatment. She was able to start receiving treatment for her prior abuse. Her mother’s parental rights were terminated and her father, who had had been absent for most of her life, reconnected with her and began visits. Jasmin successfully completed the program at Hillcrest and was admitted to King’s Home last June. Her father continued visits and worked with DHR to learn how to parent a teenage girl. Two weeks ago, her father obtained custody of Jasmin, and she was so excited about this new opportunity. What a beautiful story of reunification! Jasmin said she was so thankful for the love and care she received from her house parents and the team at King’s Home.
Jessica seemed to be a typical child living in Cullman County. Jessica was raised by her mother, who had health issues and her father chose to not be involved in her life. One day when Jessica was 8 years old, she woke up for school and could not wake up her mother. She thought her mother was in a deep sleep, so she got herself ready for school and got on the bus. She came home from school alone to find her mother still in bed and realized she was dead. As you can imagine, she began experiencing severe mental health issues after this. Jessica was placed with her aunt but began experiencing severe tantrums and acting out behaviors. Her aunt decided she could not deal with this and placed her in DHR care. At the age of 10, Jessica was then placed in an intensive residential facility and eventually a foster home. However, the foster home disrupted when her trauma and behavioral challenges resurfaced. When she was 12 years old, DHR referred her to our moderate program. Based on reading her history, we initially denied her. The DHR Supervisor then called and begged us to reconsider, and we agreed to accept her.
When she was placed with us, Jessica had severe tantrums on a consistent basis. Tantrums included kicking, screaming, crying, and throwing self on the floor. She was chronologically 12 years old but developmentally approximately 8 years old. Jessica did not respond well to our structured behavioral system and the tantrums became more frequent and intense. The team realized a different approach was needed and designed an approach tailored to a younger child. She received frequent counseling and psychiatric services and slowly the tantrums decreased. Jessica’s improvement was life-changing.
In 2019, Amy came to King’s Home battling depression and PTSD from being sexually abused. She reported frequent thoughts of self-harm and the team at King’s Home realized she needed more care than we could provide. After spending six months in an intensive program, Amy returned to King’s Home. She reported being able to focus better and move past her sexual abuse. She re-joined the choir and began drawing again. Last month Amy came to an important crossroads in her journey when she was approached by the DA to testify against her former abuser in court. After seeking wisdom from her counselor, Amy decided she was ready and chose to testify. During the court proceedings, she was able to tell her story and shine the light of truth into the darkness that once held her captive. Amy did well in her testimony and felt empowered when her abuser was sentenced to jail time!
"The Color Purple"
In 2020, King's Home House Mom Chrissy Birge led art therapy with her house daughters. "The Color Purple" was 16-years-old with a history of abuse, suicidal ideation, and other horrible circumstances. During therapy, she was able to turn all her hurt and pain into something beautiful. Learn more here: kingshome.com/art-therapy