June 27, 2021 Posted by Heather Sleuter

Family Life Skills Program Continues Forward

Khris Ramirez, Family Life Skills Trainer and Safety Planner delivering a homework packet.
By Heather Sleuter

The Yolo Crisis Nursery has been a place of hope and help for families for the last 20 years. We welcome the gradual return of our pre-pandemic lives. Although we see hope, we also see many of our community’s most vulnerable families battling the lingering and long-lasting impacts of the pandemic.

Throughout the Pandemic, the Nursery remained open, caring for those children whose families had nowhere else to turn. During this time, the Yolo Crisis Nursery Family Life Skills Program continued to thrive and was transformative for families. Before COVID-19, Family Life Skills operated as an in-home program. Our Family Life Skills Trainer, Khris Ramirez, did a wonderful job transitioning this program to a virtual format so parents could continue to work towards completion of the program. She delivered and picked up work packets, ensured families had internet access, and then hosted sessions via Zoom.

This 10-week program is designed to address the root causes of crises and to help break the cycles of poverty and abuse. Our specialized trainer works with parents to establish short and long-term goals and teach them how to leverage community resources, obtain assistance with day-to-day challenges, build a support network, and develop parenting and family management skills.

“Many of our parents did not benefit from being raised in a stable home environment and experienced significant amounts of toxic stress as children” said Ramirez. “The Family Life Skills Program is special because it helps parents break this cycle and provide a stable and loving home for their children.”

The Family Life Skills program consists of 19 modules; each family can customize the program to meet their unique needs by selecting 10 modules to complete. Some of the most popular modules include childcare and school, child safety and wellbeing, housing, banking and credit, budgeting, time management, employment and job search skills, cleaning, fitness and nutrition, and meal planning, preparation and storage.

The impact of the Family Life Skills program is best seen through the success of our clients such as Lori. Unsure when her storybook romance and marriage of 10 years devolved into an abusive relationship,Lori found herself in an unanticipated place — fearful for her and her children’s lives. When a rare opportunity presented itself, she gathered her girls and fled with only the clothes on their backs.

Suddenly homeless with two young daughters, Lori was isolated and scared. She found help at the Yolo Crisis Nursery where our trauma-trained caregivers welcomed her family with open arms. Lori entrusted the Nursery to care for her girls while she attended court hearings, job interviews, housing appointments, and counseling sessions. The Nursery’s 10-week Family Life Skills program was life changing.

It empowered Lori to get a restraining order, file for divorce, enroll in community college, establish a daily nutrition and exercise routine, secure a job, and begin to save money. After completing the program, Lori moved into a new home where she and her girls are safe and thriving. Lori’s accomplishments are even more remarkable because she accomplished all of this during the pandemic. Lori is proud to provide a healthy, stable, and empowered home for her young daughters.

Sadly, situations like Lori’s are not uncommon. If you would like to help parents in crisis like Lori, we invite you to make a one-time or recurring monthly donation to the Yolo Crisis Nursery by visiting www.yolocrisisnursery.org. Donations can also be made by check mailed to Yolo Crisis Nursery, 1107 Kennedy Place, Suite 5, Davis, CA 95616. Your support provides a safe haven and renewed hope for families.

Unable to make a financial contribution? Consider donating your time and talents to our Board of Directors or Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, donating gently used childcare items, gifting supplies from the Nursery’s wish list, or just by shopping at Amazon and Nugget Markets.

Both Amazon and Nugget Markets will donate a percentage of the purchases you make to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Just visit Amazon Smile (http://smile.amazon.com), choose Yolo Crisis Nursery as your selected charity and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of each purchase you make to the Nursery. At Nugget Markets, simply add the Yolo Crisis Nursery as a beneficiary with your script/scrip card. If you do not yet have a script card, emailmleach@yolocrisisnursery.orgto learn more. Once your script card is set up, simply present it at checkout and Nugget will donate a percentage of your total monthly spending to the Yolo Crisis Nursery.

Thank you to our generous community for supporting the Crisis Nursery throughout the years.

This article was written by Heather Sleuter and originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, June 27, 2021.