Before coming to The Settlement Home for Children, “Melissa” had been in 12 different placements including relatives, emergency shelters, hospitals and residential treatment centers. “Melissa” comes from a very chaotic family, including violence, sexual and physical abuse and drug abuse. Both of her parents have been incarcerated due to substance abuse and criminal activity as well as several older siblings.
At The Settlement Home, “Melissa” entered our residential treatment center and on-campus school. “Melissa” is very bright so she excelled in our school with the individual attention. Diagnosed with major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, she worked with our treatment team to receive individual counseling, as well as group and family therapy. She also attended alcohol drug group on campus. “Melissa” began to recognize her own strengths and dreams as realities. She truly started to have hope for her future.
After a year in residential treatment, “Melissa” moved to one of our therapeutic group homes where she lived with houseparents and seven other girls. She entered and excelled in public school. After summer vocational training and with the help of a Settlement Home volunteer, she was able to secure a job. No one in “Melissa’s” family has ever attended college, so we toured several college campuses with her in preparation for graduation from high school.
Today, “Melissa” is emailing our staff from a West Texas University with typical college issues such as roommates and cafeteria food. She is genuinely grateful for the care and support she received and is planning to visit us during the summer.