By Kendall McGee | May 7, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT – Updated May 7 at 7:32 PM
LAKE WACCAMAW, N.C. (WECT) – The pictures are hung, the beds made, and the rooms are just waiting to be filled in the Civitan Cottage on the Boys and Girls Homes campus in Lake Waccamaw.
The newly renovated cottage is for the Bright Hope program and will house children while their parents are in rehab.
“You’ve got 7, 8, 10-year-olds who are parenting younger kids while their parents are using. You know, they don’t get to be kids,” said Donna Yalch, chief program officer for Boys and Girls Homes
The program is in partnership with Christian Recovery Centers Inc; while mom and dad get help over in Brunswick County, kids stay at Lake Waccamaw and get the support they need to move past this difficult chapter in their lives. The campus offers activities like gardening, equine therapy, art, trips and a variety of counseling options.
“There’s not anything like this. There’s similar programs who meet certain needs, sometimes there’s programs children can go to and just their basic needs are met, but with this, we’re really focusing on the overall well-being of the entire family,” explained Bright Hope Director Danielle Monroe.
The program also allows parents to maintain custody of the kids, eliminating the court system and keeps the kids from being separated or put in foster homes. Parents are able to stay involved in their child’s life and leaders encourage family visits and phone calls through the process.
“It’s tough going to court and having people in your life and examining are you a good parent, I mean it affects [the parents] too,” said Yalch.
The ultimate goal is to heal families now, but leaders know that this program goes past that and allows them to help the next generation.
“It’s not just about what’s happening today, it’s about how it affects adults when they become older, when these kids become older,” said Yalch.”We can maybe just stop the cycle, just stop it, then we might be able to not be having this conversation and ten years down the road.”
Bright Hope is already accepting referrals through their partners at CRCI. Thanks to a grant from the governor’s crime commission, the program is free to families.
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