DETROIT – Some Metro Detroit boys are getting a new lease on life after experiencing traumatic childhoods.
Detroit nonprofit Christ Child House is providing a home for boys who have been abused or neglected in the past. Since 1948, the nonprofit treats boys between the ages of 6 and 16, providing them with trauma-focused therapy and treatment through trauma-informed care.
“The youngest male that we’ve ever had here, he was 5 and he came into care because of his mom’s opioid addiction. She was found in the car because she had overdosed,” said Maria Lessnau, executive director of the organization. “It’s definitely sad. You never get over hearing a young male’s abuse. We really just want to change the focus and provide them with a family-like setting.”
To help change the trajectory of the boys’ lives, Christ Child House provides them with a loving environment that prioritizes discipline and structure. Lessnau says the boys follow a schedule each day that includes waking up for breakfast, regular schooling and more activities before dinnertime.
“We’re promoting change,” Lessnau said. “We’re promoting change and breaking the cycle.”
Once they age out of Christ Child House, the world is theirs: Some of the boys go on to be adopted, enter foster care or an independent living program.
The nonprofit currently houses 22 boys at one time. They’re currently raising funds for a new facility to provide more services for more boys.