“Youngsters usually are not a distraction from vital work, they’re crucial work.” So reads an indication within the workplace of Heather Denenea, a household advocate and forensic interviewer at Youngsters’s Advocacy Heart-Hope Home in Covington.
The vital work Denenea and different Hope Home employees do to assist younger abuse victims simply bought just a little simpler due to a brand new 1,200-square-foot addition to the nonprofit’s current constructing.
On Dec. 4, Hope Home employees and board members held a ceremonial ribbon reducing and gave excursions of their new house to native leaders and neighborhood companions.
“Everybody right here has an funding in Hope Home,” its govt director, Thomas Mitchell, stated throughout the occasion. “That’s an funding in giving children’ childhoods.”
The addition has “empowered us to have the ability to have better workplace house and meet the wants of extra children. Earlier than we have been simply on high of one another with counselors figuring out of the convention room,” Mitchell stated.
Hope Home offers forensic interviews and remedy for all circumstances of kid abuse investigated by legislation enforcement in St. Tammany and Washington parishes. With the addition of house, its three trauma therapists will be capable to see 75 extra kids per 12 months.
“We will serve extra of our youngsters and actually empower extra of them with hope and therapeutic, and it gave (us) the power to have personal our house as properly,” Mitchell stated.
He stated the $200,000 mission — which included the addition, in addition to new paint and flooring within the current constructing — wouldn’t have been doable with out the generosity of the In Jesus’ Identify Basis.
The inspiration created three consecutive matching campaigns to the funds raised from Males Who Prepare dinner, Hope Home’s annual fundraising occasion.
“We do that in Jesus’ identify. God has really put this on our hearts,” stated Steve Tujague, who based In Jesus’ Identify together with his spouse, Lucy. The inspiration is known as for a favourite Bible verse, Colossians 3:17: “And no matter you do, in phrase or deed, do every thing within the identify of the Lord Jesus, giving due to God the Father by means of him.”
Steve Tujague credited buddy and Hope Home board member Tony LeMon with introducing them to the nonprofit. “We wouldn’t be right here with out Tony,” he stated.
LeMon, an lawyer, stated his consciousness of Hope Home got here by means of his former position as head of the District Lawyer Warren Montgomery’s civil division, in addition to by means of his participation in Management St. Tammany. “As soon as I noticed Hope Home, I bought chills,” he stated. “They’re doing God’s work.”
Designed by MSH Architects, which donated its architectural companies, and accomplished earlier this fall by BSD Building, the addition contains 4 employees places of work. Every room has been stuffed with touches to make kids really feel comfy.
“You possibly can see them let go,” stated Hope Home scientific director Stacey Faulkner of the youngsters who come into her new heat and comfy workplace, sit down on its couch, and draw an image for the artwork wall beside her desk.
The enlargement additionally created devoted house for native legislation enforcement, the Division of Little one and Household Companies, and the District Lawyer’s Workplace, who all work with Hope Home in searching for justice for baby abuse victims.
It’s the first kids’s advocacy middle within the state to have a law-enforcement room for these businesses “to work out of throughout the day,” Mitchell stated.
Beforehand, having shared areas precipitated “logistical issues when coping with confidential baby abuse circumstances,” Mitchell added. “Now that our workers and legislation enforcement companions every have devoted areas, it makes for a greater expertise for everybody concerned and will increase the variety of kids we are able to serve.”
That capability to assist extra children couldn’t come at a greater time. By the tip of the 12 months, Hope Home can have served practically 350 baby abuse victims, “extra kids in any previous 12 months in our 26-year historical past,” Mitchell stated.
“Sadly, we’ve had extra circumstances and extra tragic circumstances. That’s the problem that we’ve actually seen,” he added. “We’ve seen extra trafficking. We’ve seen extra extreme circumstances of abuse the place it’s not an remoted, acute expertise, however extra extended extreme ranges of complicated trauma.”
For details about Hope Home, go to cachopehouse.org or name (985) 892-3885. To report abuse, name the 24-hour Louisiana Little one Abuse Hotline at (855) 452-5437. To report on-line baby sexual exploitation, name the CyberTipline at (800) 843-5678.