As a 16-year-old Steven was placed at Shiloh House after physically assaulting one of his family members. Steven was raised in a very rigid home environment consisting of both verbal and physical abuse. He also had a history of being bullied throughout his life, struggled to make friends, and understandably distracted from being able to succeed in school.
It’s not surprising then that Steven had a poor self-image and was weighed down by anger. Since being placed at Shiloh House, he has resolved much of the anger he carries and has developed new ways to express it appropriately. For the first time in his life, Steven has had a safe, structured, and supportive environment in which to find himself and develop a more positive self-esteem. He has excelled in therapeutic recreation and shows a new active healthy positive approach to life.
Perhaps most importantly, Steven began to repair relationships with his family members so that he could return home.
As with so many of the youth in our care, Steven thrived in an environment of support, safety, and structure. He participated actively in Shiloh incentives program by showing positive behavior and consistently improving his grades at school. Through several modalities of therapy, he has been developing his own skills and identity as a young man.
At the Shiloh House annual picnic, Steven’s athletic skills shined and he beamed as he received positive reinforcement from staff and peers. In his own words: “Being at Shiloh helped me to see I am actually good at sports and I feel more confident about myself and happier about my life.”
Jacob’s Success Story
Nine year old Jacob came to Shiloh House after two failed adoptions. Unfortunately, this was not Jacob’s first time as a client at Shiloh House. His mother had neglected him and he was often left to fend for himself and his younger siblings. Jacob struggled with interacting appropriately and positively with others. He would become upset when he didn’t get what he wanted, wailing and saying hateful things to people. These behaviors made it difficult for prospective adoptive families to accept Jacob into their home. As a result, Jacob felt that he would never find a family.
During his time at Shiloh House, Jacob worked very hard to make improvements in his behaviors and the way that he expressed his emotions. He had a significant decrease in his emotional outbursts and was able to identify and utilize various coping skills to help him calm his mind and body. Jacob loved Star Wars, so as a means of helping Jacob learn how to have control over his body and mind, he worked on identifying ways that a “Jedi” would behave. This was as an activity that Jacob said “Really helped me know how to act.”
After over a year and a half of treatment, an adoptive family was identified for Jacob. He was so excited at the possibility of being part of a family. He and his adoptive parents worked to build a relationship and Jacob successfully transitioned to their home and became a part of his “forever family”. When Jacob was discharging, he told his therapist:
“Shiloh was kinda like a home to me. The staff helped to take care of me and keep me safe. I’ve learned a lot about how to get along with people and show my emotions in a better way”.
Shiloh House had the privilege of being able to be a supportive, safe, structured environment for Jacob on two occasions. The things he learned during both of his stays at Shiloh have helped him to be a healthier young boy and have given him tools for being successful in the years to come.
Beyond the Walls Success Story
Shiloh House opened the Beyond the Walls program in early 2012 with the goal of creating a seamless tapestry of support for young people as they transition from out of
home care to independence. Through a strong Community Resource Network young people are linked to resources and mentors that provide life skills, learning opportunities and tools to help them achieve their goals for the future.
18 year old Sarah, was placed in the shelter at Shiloh Houses’ Sanctuary campus in January 2014 due to allegations from her parents that she was trying to endanger her step-father’s life. Sarah was angry and promised to run on her 18th birthday which was only a couple of months away. Sarah was referred to the Beyond the Walls program at that time where she started meeting with staff three times a week. Sarah made remarkable progress. She learned life skills such as budgeting, time management, employment skills including how to apply and interview for a job. Sarah was able to secure a job at a local restaurant very quickly. Sarah began education recovery in order to obtain her GED. She was also attending therapy sessions on a consistent basis. Sarah remained in the shelter while looking for an apartment. In August she was able to secure a place and was and was able to move out of the shelter. Sarah continually “Thanks” the staff for “Saving my life”. The Beyond the Walls staff have set Sarah up for success by surrounding her with the support she needs to make positive choices in her life.
*All names have been altered for the privacy of our clients*