A smart, clever boy I met at Genesis was Isaiah, an 11-year-old who was quite tall and heavy set and he informed me that both his parents were tall too. He had been living at Genesis since the summertime and he mentioned siblings but did not go into detail. He had already eaten lunch when I caught up with him and he was riding his bike. He came inside so I could talk to him, but he let me know he really preferred being outside and not stuck talking to some old lady (my conclusion not his). He was guarded, did not offer any extra conversation, and was fairly withdrawn. He anxiously wanted to get back outside and ride his bike before he had to go to afternoon classes at school. Of all the boys I have ever interviewed, Isaiah was the most reluctant, which is quite understandable as these boys have experienced far more than the typical child, many with horrendous conditions, unreasonable parents, and external obstacles that most of us cannot even imagine.
It makes me very aware of the children who come to Genesis and how important it is to provide them with a safe, loving environment where they are exposed to a different lifestyle where they can make the necessary changes, prosper, and grow into caring adults and have the foundation created at Genesis. All the boys are classified at Level E, which is the highest level of care before entering an inpatient setting and caters to the most aggressive and impulsive behaviors that need to be addressed. I am always in awe when I see staff members who go the extra mile to assist a young man. All of the staff members are trained in M.A.B. (Managing Aggressive Behavior) and other trauma-informed training. They use a variety of tools to assist the boys in making the necessary changes to succeed. They listen to their troubles, teach them to relax, they lend their time to the distressed child, along with introducing a variety of activities and games to instill within the child the necessary tools to adjust and triumph over their troubles. Hopefully, the boys (anywhere from the ages of six to 12 years old) can build on their own strengths and take away the effects of the trauma they have been through to grow, adjust and maneuver to a stronger foundation and leave Genesis with new coping skills.
All of this requires money and DHS provides some, but it takes individuals who are willing to dig deep into their pockets to provide the extras that enhance and improve these young lives. We need supporters to help at the end of this year. Prices have gone up, activities cost more than ever, and we are asking people to consider donating to a worthy project that is helping young men every single day. If you are wondering if this might be a consideration, feel free to contact our executive director, Scott Coppenbarger, who can answer your questions, give you a tour of the facility, and assure you that your donation will help and make a difference in a boy’s life! This is the season to give of our hearts and what a wonderful thing you would be doing, to donate from your heart and transform a young life. Merry Christmas!