David and Patty, a Montgomery Community Church (MCC) family, recently completed their Safe Families training, references, background checks, and Home Assessment in less than 30 days. And within 24 hours of their completed Home Assessment, a sweet little child entered their home!
Around midnight, two Safe Families leaders were at the Bethesda North Hospital Emergency entrance, generally not a place you want to be at midnight. A little girl was lovingly carried out of Bethesda North on her way to a Safe Family in Loveland. The mother of the girl was pregnant and in labor. Mom had been laying in a hospital room with her 11-month old daughter at her side. Obviously, a little girl in a hospital room with her mom about to give birth isn’t an ideal scenario. But Mom had moved to Cincinnati only two weeks ago. She had no family or friends to care for her daughter.
When we don’t have the resources to respond, children sleep in cars, on the streets, in crime- and drug-infested environments, and in other unsafe crisis-driven circumstances.
Here’s how the timeline unfolded:
- At 9:21pm, the hospital social worker called our Safe Families Crisis Hotline. She explained the need, and our volunteer who answered the Safe Families Crisis Line listened intently.
- At 9:24pm, that volunteer reported the need to our Intake Team. The Intake Team began to search for an available and willing Host Family.
- At 10:07pm, one of our Host Families agreed to host the little girl (Patty and Dave).
- At 10:45pm, our Intake Team members were in the hospital room. They explained the Hosting Agreement and Power of Attorney documents to mom. Mom signed the documents.
- At 11:42pm, the Intake Team departed Bethesda North, with the little girl in our arms, smiling and cooing.
- At 11: 56pm, the Intake Team entered UDF, and purchased some milk and other basics.
- At 12:14am, the Intake Team arrived at the Loveland home of the Host Family, and introduced the little girl to her Host Mom and to their 11 year old daughter (who had waited up past normal bedtime, excited about the arrival of a special guest).
- By 12:20am, a diaper had been changed, and the baby had a warm bottle of milk.
- At 12:47am, the Intake Team departed the Host Home, amidst exhausted but smiling faces.
This is a real-life story of Safe Families. Christ-centered families agreeing to voluntarily host a child in their home, providing Biblical hospitality for short periods of time, while parents recover from crisis. Not all situations are this urgent. Most are not. One call came in November, but the actual hosting didn’t occur until February. But while most requests are not urgent, they are all important. When we don’t have the resources to respond, children sleep in cars, on the streets, in crime- and drug-infested environments, and in other unsafe crisis-driven circumstances.
Safe Families in Cincinnati has hosted six (6) children in the past 48 hours. We’ve received a half dozen additional calls this week, requests we are seeking to accommodate. God’s Kingdom has a keen need more Host Families. That every child in God’s Kingdom may have a safe family