If you read his case file, Jared, (not his real name) might appear to be a victim. His mother abandoned him at a young age, his father was killed by a drunk driver over a year ago in an automobile accident.
Jared arrived at PORT Group Homes, facing charges of petty theft, a drug habit and an uncertain future. He could have been full of rage, lashing out at others or silently mournful, overwhelmed by grief. Instead, Jared faced himself and his future head on.
The night before he went to court, Jared talked to his 20-year-old, army bound brother. He reminded Jared that his dad loved him and challenged him to change. Jared realized then, “I wanted to change for my dad.”
A mature 16, Jared faced a rare moment of insight. He was able to admit to himself that he was under the influence of a harmful substance and needed to get away. Jared made a list of what he could change and when he appeared in court, he told his story to the judge, asking to be placed in treatment.
While at PORT Jared attended a chemical dependency treatment program three days a week, a weekly A.A. group and was proud of his ongoing sobriety. Home visits were tricky, as he learned to avoid his former friends on dope.
Jared’s primary counselor at PORT says, “PORT’s structure gave Jared a safe place to practice decision making,” and supports his goal-oriented personality. “Jared opened up and talked freely about what’s going on. He did everything right.” Jared’s also matured as a leader, “taking the new guys under his wing, providing support for the newcomers.”
After weeks at PORT, Jared’s smile turned bright and broad. His grades in school became A's and B's, and his older sister, a college student, agreed to be his guardian. Jared and PORT are full of hope about his future.
PORT Group Homes is home to many adolescents, like Jared. Located in the heart of Minnesota’s woods and water, PORT has provided residential services for boys and girls, ages 10-18 since 1972. Many of the young people who come to PORT have failed to follow the rules at home or school. With structure and nurture, PORT teaches young people the skills needed to make healthy choices and take responsibility for their behavior.
When you donate to PORT, you support a young person in a variety of ways. Your donation may purchase:
_ Clothes for children who arrive with just the clothes on their backs.
_ Curriculum materials for groups that teach independent living skills, anger management, decision making and coping skills.
_ Counseling for those without insurance or resources to pay.
_ Recreation activities and supplies that teach teamwork, develop body, mind and spirit.
_ Art supplies: a means of expressing feelings that have been buried.
_ Field trips, sports team participation.
_ Equipment expenses for those children who are in school, participating in extra curricular activities and unable to afford the expense.
_ Cultural needs: Sometimes children from a variety of backgrounds have special needs.