2019 At A Glance …

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One year can make such a difference, and 2019 has been no exception. We feel so blessed to see the difference and impact this year has made in the lives of those we serve, as we have walked alongside so many women, children, and families throughout the different programs offered by Families Free. 

We would like to share a few highlights from this past year:

Because of the generous support and outpouring of the community, we were able to open the Storie House! The Storie House has provided a home for seven women and one child since April 2019.

Of the five women who live in the Storie House at present, we have one baby on the way, and the mothers have a combined total of 10 children. While their children are not currently living in the home, our mothers are actively benefiting from all the opportunities that Storie House has to offer by actively rebuilding relationships with their children. 

Women’s Services: There are 38 women who are currently enrolled in our Women’s Services groups and 81 women are in our jail classes. In the past year, we have served 136 women through utilizing trauma-informed care, intensive outpatient treatment groups, recovery skills groups, and intensive case management via our Women’s Services. In 2019, we have provided Moral Reconation Therapy for 200 women in our jail classes. MRT® is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral counseling program for substance abuse treatment and the criminal justice offender populations.

First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court: We have served 25 people this past year through evidenced-based, holistic treatment designed for individuals involved with the criminal justice system rooted in substance use. 25 people are currently enrolled in services and 21 actively engaged in the program.

Family Centered Services: We have received 302 combined referrals for Nurturing Parenting, A&D (Alcohol and Drug) assessments, Parenting Education, Homemaker, and Treatment Services.

23 were A&D assessments and 64 families combined for Parenting Education, Homemaker, and Treatment. 178 families were assessed for the Nurturing Parenting Program. Approximately 343 adults and approximately 657 children were served in the past year.  

Woven: This past year we have served 70 mothers in the Woven program through case management, parenting guidance, and recovery support. We have 24 women currently enrolled.

Families Thrive: In 2019, we have served or engaged over 100 families in the NICU at Niswonger Children’s Hospital through group services or individual support.

#LoveRestores

Meredith2019 At A Glance …
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Thoughts On Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a beautiful time for many of us, and spending the day with family allows us to create memories we will cherish. However, Mother’s Day can also be a difficult time for those who are dealing with loss – which can come in many forms.

This week we gathered with our clients to reflect on the many facets of being a mother, what it means to be a mom without our children in our lives, and the importance of women who share their maternal guidance with others who are without moms.

After reading over quotes about mothers, our group shared their thoughts and hopes about motherhood. One such goal was to focus on looking ahead to the future when children could be with their mom after years apart, and they could see her post-active addiction. Knowing that after all of this time, their mom was still loving and praying for them while working on sobriety.

Another focal point was that despite past mistakes, children can still thrive. The significance of moving past regret, when mothering wasn’t a priority, to make space for love and prayer is essential in the healing process.

Then there’s the opportunity, even without children, to mother and mentor. You never know who needs your support, and there are still ways to have an impact and love those around you.

After discussing ways to embrace Mother’s Day, even if there’s grief associated with the holiday, we came together to design and paint individual prayer rocks. They will serve as a reminder to pray for our children, our fellow mothers, and anyone we know who needs support in finding joy through pain. #LoveRestores

MeredithThoughts On Mother’s Day
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How Can a Seed Die and Still Become a Plant?

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The seed, which contains the fullest potential of life, ceases to be a seed so that the plant inside may live. Essentially, its original form has died, and the seed becomes something new. A similar question can be asked – like the seed, how can you die unto yourself and live anew?

That was the very question discussed during our annual client Easter party this year, where the story of Jesus’ resurrection and the teachings of Christ highlight the transformations that have taken place within the lives of both our staff and clients.

During our time with clients, we painted and planted flower pots to incorporate the theme of the seed within our day and used Resurrection Eggs to bring a greater understanding of Easter to the forefront. We also enjoyed a meal together, and each woman was able to bring home an Easter basket for their children so they could continue to reflect on and share the story of Jesus’ resurrection.

The theme of forgiveness is also central to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The importance of forgiveness cannot be overstated in the journey that every one of the individuals in our programs must take to reach the other side of recovery and living life anew. 

Thistle Farms Founder Becca Stevens shared this beautiful message of forgiveness, and we believe it encapsulates how we can apply its transformative powers to our lives not only on this Good Friday but during our daily walk throughout the year.  #LoveRestores

MeredithHow Can a Seed Die and Still Become a Plant?
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The Storie House

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At The Storie House, lives will be changed …
The Storie House serves to create an environment where love can restore. Our vision for the home is that it will provide every woman the opportunity to achieve the fresh start she desires.
The Storie House is a private residence that can support and nurture five women from our program and up to four children, as well as provide a safe, sober place to live and integrate new life skills. This new addition will be overseen by Judy Clark, our Director of Women’s Services.
The home’s namesake comes from our Board Member Nancy Storie and is inspired by her generosity and dedication to the women in our program.

Thank you to every single person that donated their time and supplies – your support has helped make this house a home. #LoveRestores

MeredithThe Storie House
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Gov. Lee Signs Executive Order to Increase Access To Recovery Courts

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“Public safety extends beyond party lines and has the best interest of every Tennessean in mind,” said Gov. Bill Lee.

According to The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), Governor Bill Lee’s FY20 budget proposal includes $4.7 million to increase access to recovery courts, supplement recovery court programming with Medication Assisted Treatment, and create a new residential recovery court for women. With $1.7 million in additional funding, recovery courts will expand capacity by 20 percent and serve an additional 500 Tennesseans each year.

Gov. Lee recognizes the importance of the life-changing services provided by recovery courts and how they continue to help communities statewide, including our very own. Through Families Free’s work with the First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court, we give our clients access to the structure and treatment they need to establish a life in recovery. This then provides clients with a renewed connection with their family, community and their own innate abilities and strengths.

Rachel Roden, our First Judicial District Felony Recovery Court Coordinator, was profiled by TDMHSAS. Rachel shared her experience with our clients in recovery court, as well as the effect our programs have on the community.

The hard work that is displayed by our recovery court team, and the diligence of our clients, has on an impact that extends beyond Families Free. The positive effects will continue to reverberate throughout the region and for generations to come. #LoveRestores

MeredithGov. Lee Signs Executive Order to Increase Access To Recovery Courts
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Let There Be Joy – Families Free Client Christmas Party

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Tradition: a noun meaning to “hand down statements, beliefs, information, etc. from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.”

Traditions are so important to not only families but individuals as well, especially during the holiday season. For some of our clients, establishing new Christmas traditions that support their recovery feels like starting from scratch. However, just like our Executive Director Lisa Tipton said – “It just takes one person to start a tradition …”

 

This week we hosted our annual Client Christmas Party for women in our program, and the central theme was tradition. Members of our senior staff shared their family traditions which include building gingerbread houses, giving their children new pajamas, playing games, and reading the Christmas story. Even as adults, the children of our staff members hold these Christmas traditions dear and ensure that the younger kids in the family are just as excited to take part each year. The hope was that by sharing our stories, we could inspire clients to create their own unique traditions for their families.

Robin Ledford, Families Free’s Clinical Director, MSW, LADAC, addressed the need for meetings during the holiday season, and she shared that Christmas can be special by experiencing the day sober for the first time. For our clients, continuing the tradition of sobriety during Christmas and embracing the fact that their holiday might look different from others is essential in building a practice in peace.

In addition to this time of reflection, our clients and staff enjoyed a delicious meal together, and then our clients built gingerbread houses of their very own. Through the generosity of our community, donations of gifts and necessities, bibles, gingerbread house kits, and new pajamas were then wrapped by our clients and are now ready to be enjoyed by their children this Christmas.

We are so grateful to our community for helping us strengthen the families of our clients, through fostering resiliency and encouraging positive relationships within their family. #LoveRestores

 

 

MeredithLet There Be Joy – Families Free Client Christmas Party
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