Nexus-Gerard Family Healing
Youth come to Nexus Family Healing with very little to their names and histories rich with trauma.
Alex came to Nexus Family Healing for residential treatment after a long history of gang involvement and failed residential treatment placements. When Alex arrived, it seemed he did everything possible to create chaos at bedtime, which exhausted the nighttime direct care staff. While it was frustrating that Alex was unable to go to bed quietly, the staff knew his history of trauma and were determined to figure out the reason for his behavior. Nexus staff quickly noticed that Alex would calm down when they sat outside his door at night, suggesting that he may be afraid of the dark.
The first step was to give Alex a nightlight to soothe his nighttime anxiety. The staff also talked to him about what nighttime meant to him. Alex was encouraged to fill his room with items – like plants and a fish tank – that made it a comfortable place. The once-scary room slowly became his safe space.
What started with a simple nightlight turned into an opportunity for all youth at that campus to personalize their rooms and make them feel like home. When Alex was successfully discharged from his program, he was going to use a garbage bag to pack his belongings since he didn't have any luggage. But instead he asked to borrow a duffel bag. From that point forward, we made another promise to our youth; when every child leaves our care they will do so with their own luggage.
This is just one story about one youth from one of our agencies. Nexus Family Healing cares for 4,000 youth and their families across eight agencies in four different states. We specialize in trauma-based therapy and mental health counseling for youth and families.
You can help us make a world of difference — one child at a time.
As Alex’s story demonstrates, providing youth with basic things like a suitcase to carry their belongings, a pair of eyeglasses, a winter coat, or a backpack feed the healing process when combined with vital trauma-informed mental health services. In addition, life-enriching experiences that all children deserve is another important component to their healing. Kids just want to be kids. Sports, summer camps, dance classes, music lessons – all cost money.
Whether it’s outpatient care, residential treatment, or placement with foster families, we give children and families the time and support they need to heal, and start their journeys to more positive, purposeful lives.
When you give to Nexus Family Healing, you’re creating the possibility of healthier children, hope for families, more stable communities, and a better world—now and into the future.