A family gets their life back

Heather and Erik were living on the streets of Oregon. She and her husband Erik both suffered from addiction and were homeless. Their son Erik Jr. was placed in foster care and when they had their second child Zoey prematurely, Zoey was promptly placed in foster care as well.

“I knew at that point I was done with my lifestyle and wanted to change,” Heather said.  

Heather and Erik were referred to CHSW in 2016 to receive comprehensive wraparound services that can help them grow and learn together. They enrolled their children Erik Jr. and Zoey in the early learning home visiting program in Walla Walla.

“CHSW staff helped us be our best selves and kept us focused on the future and becoming a family again,” Heather said. “They encouraged us and we never missed a home visit. Our partnership with them was a tight bond.”

Heather and Erik overcame addiction, found permanent housing and had supervised home visits with their children. Zoey, almost 2, and Erik Jr. approaching 5, are now both on track developmentally and physically.

“Heather sent me a picture of her driver’s license saying, ‘look what I got,’ and Erik found a job,” Shawniene Kaufman, their Early Head Start home visitor said. “Positive things are continuing to happen and CHSW is happy to be a part of their success.”

“We have our kids at home now, we have our lives back, and our case is closed,” Heather said. “We are doing great.”

Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for CHSW.