Detroit nonprofit provides home for boys with traumatic pasts

Christ Child House provides abused, neglected boys with loving home, structure

Detroit nonprofit provides home for boys with traumatic pasts

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.”

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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.

Click here to visit Christ Child House’s website for more information.

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About the Author:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.