A nonprofit organization

$875 Raised

9% complete

$10,000 Goal

Inspiring Hope, Healing & Health in All Families

Many we love are suffering. With your help, we can reach out to them.

Your generosity sparks hope and success for families moving toward recovery.

We are a volunteer, 501(c)(3) academic-community partnership dedicated to helping the hidden victims of addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD).

Children, families and caregivers affected by someone else's addiction often experience a chaotic lifestyle. They live with shame, isolation and fear; financial instability; food and housing insecurity; domestic violence; mental illness; and more.

Although parental addiction often has a devastating impact on the family, resources for children and caregivers are limited and insufficient.

100% of your donation to our all-volunteer organization will go to developing resources and support for children, families and caregivers impacted by SUD.

The Epidemic of Despair

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic it's easy to forget that there is another deadly epidemic in our country, one that has been going on for years and is getting worse. The “Epidemic of Despair” is due to increasing rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide. In the US, approximately 95,000 deaths from alcohol-related causes and nearly 70,000 deaths from drug-related causes will occur this year (CDCHayes 2018).

For each person who dies of alcohol- or drug-related causes,
 many more live with the devastating effects of addiction. 

And so do their families.



Children living with parental addiction need extensive support.  The stress they experience may overwhelm their ability to cope, alter brain development and create the potential for life-long problems. They are 4 times more likely than their peers to develop SUD (Smith, 2016. Pediatrics 138;e20161575).

  • Leaving Keisha at daycare is heart wrenching. She clings to Grandma and panics when she's out of sight. Mommy has already left her— what if Grandma leaves too?  How can Grandma explain that Mommy has a disease called SUD? How can she help Keisha learn to trust again?
  • Sara is 7 years old. The DARE police officer tells her class that drugs are dangerous, even deadly. Sara's parents use drugs. She wants to tell someone her terrible secret but she loves her parents and is afraid they will get in trouble. She wants to run out of the room so she doesn't have to listen. But she tries to act cool so no one will suspect.
  • Jimmy is 15 months old. When he awoke this morning, he called for Mommy. But he got no response—even when he began to cry. Jimmy is in his crib and the house is very quiet. He is hungry, wet, and scared—something is very wrong. Where is Mommy?


It's easy to be angry at the parents, but anger, blame and shame don't help. Despite their determination to be good parents, loving parents with SUD may find it very difficult to prioritize the needs of children over their cravings. That is the nature of addiction. 

  • Jimmy’s mom struggles with alcoholism. She did well in outpatient treatment, but services were cut due to COVID‑19. She fights her cravings, but relapsed last night. She is passed out, but will be devastated and remorseful when she awakens.


Caregivers who step in to care for the children face many challenges such as intrafamilial conflict, social isolation and stress-related health problems. Their ability to provide for children is hampered by the difficulty of navigating complex social services. Most struggle alone and in silence.

  • Jimmy’s grandfather is worried about his daughter, who hasn't answered the phone. He leaves work to check on her and finds her passed out. Jimmy is frantic and clings to Grandpa with desperation. Grandpa is heartsick about his daughter, who had been doing so well, and afraid for Jimmy.

It doesn't have to be this way.

We believe that:

  • It's possible for the person with SUD to recover and the family to heal.
  • It's possible to provide resources and support to help children and families thrive despite parental SUD.
  • Together we can create and sustain compassionate community pathways to family health and recovery.

Current Projects

  • Research to better understand the experiences and needs of children and caregivers
  • Improving support across the continuum of care, by developing partnerships to bridge gaps in services
  • Harm reduction, including Narcan training to prevent overdose deaths
  • Development of resources for children, families and caregivers
  • Youth support groups
  • Speakers series to increase awareness

Photos: Pixabay on Pexels; Ben White, 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič, Luke Southern on Unsplash.

Organization Data


Organization name


Tax id (EIN)



Health Children & Family Community


2301 Old Valley Rd SW
Rochester, MN 55902



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