Stories of Hope: George’s Story
George arrived at the Safe House confused and angry. His mom had been unable to tell him that they were leaving the home where he lived for most of his 12 years, and he was not asked how he felt about it – all for reasons of safety and confidentiality. He not only left behind his “home”, but his possessions, friends, school, grandparents and cousins.
He and his mom were safe, and George understood the reason they had to flee. George was able to express his anger while working with the Art Therapist at the Safe House, but he continued to feel sad, isolated and depressed.
As summer was approaching, George was offered the opportunity to attend two weeks of sleep-away summer camp at the YMCA. His first reaction was not very enthusiastic – another change in his life, after finally feeling somewhat stable at the Safe House.
George continued to be encouraged by the Children’s Program staff and his mom, and finally made the decision to participate in the program. George felt empowered by being given the opportunity to make his own decision about going to summer camp.
Upon his return after two weeks, George shared his experiences at the beautiful YMCA campsite at Harriman State Park. He had participated in daily swim lessons, which strengthened his skills so that he was able to participate in boating activities. He chose other sports and developed new friendships. Most importantly, the camp experience allowed George to be a 12-year-old child again.
Camp did not solve all of George’s problems, but it was a much needed “breath of fresh air.” He came back feeling more relaxed, stronger, and ready to do the hard work of dealing with the trauma he had experienced.
While George was at camp, his mom continued working and focusing on her goals to move forward into a violence-free, self-sufficient life for her and her son.
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Center for Hope and Safety is committed to ensuring that safety and support is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, for the adults and children who seek refuge from domestic violence. We need your support to make that happen. Please make a gift to our Time of Hope Challenge and help keep our doors open to those who need refuge from domestic violence during this difficult time and throughout the year. Thank you.