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An increasing number of "real stories" begin like this one, when hard times hit a "regular" family.
Family Continuity's Home-Based program has been working with a local family, who had recently begun having behavioral problems with one of their children. The father had built and owned a very successful business and the family had a nice home in a great neighborhood. On a recent Friday afternoon, clinicians went to visit the family at home, like all appointments, to work with one of the parents and kids. While they were there, they found out that the electricity had been shut off and they could not get hold of someone to turn it back on. They couldn't pay their bills and were close to losing their home. So the clinicians went out and bought flashlights so the family would have some light, as well as ice to keep the food in the refrigerator fresh until Monday. The clinicians worked with St. Vincent de Paul to help to pay to put the electricity back on.
The reason was that the husband's business had filed bankruptcy and they had no income. Out of shame, the husband had not told his family of the financial situation, until there was nothing left. The sudden economic turn resulted in added stress to the marriage, an effort to hide through the use of alcohol, and an increase in the emotional needs of the family members, especially the children. The financial struggles did not create the problems the family was having, but they did tip them over the edge Although they had been managing previously, this added a whole new layer of service needs for this family who had been focusing on the behavior of the kids, now to basic life needs of food, shelter, and family stability.
This story is very typical of many of the families we work with throughout Massachusetts and indicates the impact that the economy is having on family life. With added supports, the family is once again making progress, and dealing better with the new realities. It once again highlights a truth that we at Family Continuity know well, and that is that every family will struggle at some point. Most will push through it, but we all may require help some day.
Could this happen to your family or to the families of loved ones or neighbors? If it does, help could be closer than you think. Through its counseling and family support programs throughout Massachusetts, Family Continuity helps many homes, just like yours and mine, to manage the challenges of daily life. If you think your family could benefit from this kind of support, please visit us at our web-site at www.familycontinuity.org, or on our facebook page or call our toll free information number, 1.866-219-3320.
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