Children’s Shelter a stepping stone toward a brighter future

Written by SAFE

Silas was quiet when he arrived at our Children’s Shelter. He had recently been separated from his parents, brother, and sister and had no idea what to expect next.

At the end of last year, Child Protective Services started investigating Silas’ parents after receiving reports of physical neglect and neglectful supervision. Silas’ parents—and other adults in the home—had been using drugs and putting the children in serious danger. The adults frequently left the three kids alone in their bed bug-infested home for long periods

Silas, who was just 9 years old at the time, took care of his younger brother and sister as best as he could. He made sure everyone ate each day—mostly chips and dry cereal.

CPS took the children away at the very beginning of this year and placed them in the care of their aunt. When an adult with a history of sexual abuse moved into the home a month later, CPS removed the children again.

Silas was placed at SAFE and separated from his brother and sister. Just 10 years old now, he was lonely and scared in a new place. He was excessively polite to everyone he met, including other children in our care.

Right away, he made friends with a boy who was the same age. The pair spent their free time together playing video games, making art, and playing at the shelter’s playground. In fact, he got along well with everyone, including the older teens who usually don’t spend much time with young kids.

While staying in our Emergency Care cottage, Silas continued virtual education with the same school district where he had been attending. Our staff had fun helping him build a little desk space in his room where he could use his school laptop and class materials.

His school attendance was nearly perfect and he was always willing to participate in therapy—and based on his mood, he got a lot out of it. Frankly, Silas’ resilience was unparalleled. His home was the type of place no kid should ever have to grow up in, and he told us that he was worried about his siblings from time to time. But he was strong and kind every day.

We can’t go into specifics about where he is now that he’s been discharged from SAFE, but we are happy to report that he has been reunited with his younger brother in sister.