Chrysalis House Inc. (CHI) provides treatment for women with substance use and mental health disorders, while providing a safe and nurturing home for their children during their mother’s program of recovery. CHI is one of only three programs in the state that allows women to have their children live with them during residential treatment.
Many of our clients’ children come from traumatic situations, or have witnessed and/or been victims of abuse and neglect. They frequently suffer from developmental delays, behavioral issues, ADHD, and other challenges due to maternal drug use. It is our goal to give the children in our care the best possible start in life and break the generational cycle of addiction, crime, and poverty.
The AAWGT grant is providing a number of training opportunities for our Child Development Center staff. This includes a 90-hour early childhood certification, as well as specific training in trauma-informed care. Most of the children residing at Chrysalis House are between birth and three years old. This is a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and motor development. The training is helping our staff provide a safe and loving environment, something that many of the children have been lacking in their young lives.
One of the training modules made possible through the AAWGT grant is a parenting training curriculum. Our Early Childhood Development Director, Denise Spencer, M.S., facilitates a weekly parenting skills group for our clients. Many of these women are first-time mothers and a significant number have not had positive parenting in their own families. It is vital that we provide them with the tools they need to become the most effective and loving parents they can be.
Chrysalis House is very grateful to AAWGT for this grant which allows us to offer vital training during these challenging COVID times.
The AAWGT Education & Program Committee presented its final program of the year on October 21 via Zoom: an in-depth discussion of Maternal and Infant Mortality entitled Who Will Save Our Mothers? Dr. Monica Jones, Systems Chair of Luminis Health, Women & Children’s Services, served as keynote speaker. Dr. Jones thoroughly explained the current state of maternal & infant mortality, both in this country and in our county. She demonstrated that America’s maternal & infant mortality is twice as high as Canada’s and three times higher than Great Britain, emphasizing that most of these deaths are completely preventable. The underlying reasons for these shocking statistics were clearly delineated.
State Delegate Shaneka Henson masterfully moderated a wide-ranging and informative conversation with Dr. Jones and a panel of community stakeholders in our state & county who working on these issues. Our distinguished Community Stakeholder Panel included: State Senator Sarah Elfreth; Joy Hatchette, Associate Commissioner for Consumer Education and Advocacy at the Maryland Insurance Administration; Dr. Michael Udwin, MD, FACOG Medical Director, Practice & Payment Transformation, CareFirst BC/BS; Dr. Glenda L. Lindsey DrPH, MS, RDN, LDN, Lecturer at Morgan State University, Co-Director of the Inspiration Factory that focuses on nutritional counseling, and Public Policy Coordinator for the Maryland Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics; Kristin Marshall, BA, Parent Educator for the Healthy Start Program sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Health Department; and Gail Coffee, RN, BSN who has been with the Health Department for almost two decades and is now working in the Healthy Start Program.
The lively and engrossing conversation covered everything from stories from patients susceptible to problem pregnancies to what the State Legislature and private insurance companies are trying to do to ameliorate these problems. A full recording of this program, speaker bios and other resources can be found on our Resource Page. HERE.
More than 20,000 families living in poverty in Anne Arundel County are headed by single mothers, and HOPE For All encounters these resilient women as our clients. Whether they need beds for their children to sleep on, desks to do schoolwork, or plates to eat their meals, HOPE For All helps families turn their houses into homes.
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together has been an encouraging and faithful supporter of our Turning Houses Into Homes program, where we help to stabilize the lives of people in our community who struggle to meet their daily needs. By supporting HOPE’s overhead costs, we can focus on serving women like Angela and Sheila as they raise their children and navigate their future while struggling financially.
Angela’s husband recently died, leaving her with four children ages 1-13. Three of her children are being home-schooled. They moved to a basement apartment and HOPE For All delivered beds, dressers, and other furnishings to Angela as she starts over on her own. We were also able to fulfill a special request for school supplies and books for the children.
Sheila is a grandmother who has been raising her 14-year-old granddaughter for the past 12 years. Sadly, Sheila’s husband died unexpectedly this year. HOPE supplied a bed, linens, and clothing for the grateful family.
AAWGT understands that nonprofits like HOPE For All need more than donated goods to continue to serve the community. We need to be able to pay for the roof over our heads, the salaries of our program staff, the gas for our delivery truck, and much more. The grant we received this year is helping us serve hundreds of people in Anne Arundel County who need our help and we are able to give them hope for a brighter future. We are indeed grateful for AAWGT and its work to improve the lives of women and families in our community.