At the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, we understand that an arrest can often coincide with other crises going on in the life of a child. That’s why we listen. We learn. And we help.
LCCR social worker Nell had been working with “Corey” all summer long on his probation case, and the 13-year-old was making great strides. Then a crisis struck: Corey’s mom lost her job. Soon after, his family was evicted from their home with nowhere else to go.
Even though Corey had been doing well on probation, his family’s sudden homelessness put his progress, and his very freedom, in jeopardy. A sad reality for children in the justice system is that factors beyond their control – where they live, what school they attend, transportation – can negatively impact their ability to meet their court requirements, leading to further punishment.
Corey’s family tried to utilize the city’s limited homeless resources and was frustrated by the challenging bureaucracy. They were living in their car, with Nell regularly calling on their behalf to push forward as quickly as possible the process of finding shelter. All the while Nell was also supporting the mom and children in continuing their daily lives in the least traumatizing way possible – attending school, having food, etc. Corey was especially resilient during this period. He continued to take the bus to school and made sure to never miss a counseling appointment.
Eventually, after a period of homelessness, the family was able to find a shelter that allowed them to stay together. Simultaneously, Nell worked on finding them a new place to live – no small task given the lack of affordable housing in New Orleans. Thankfully, a bit of good luck came their way and they were able to land a two-bedroom apartment. But during the eviction, the family lost practically everything. Nell helped again by organizing a drive to get the family furniture, bedding, and other household necessities.
By working together, Nell and Corey made sure that when he came back into court, he had a place to live, a school to attend, and the stability necessary for the judge to close out his probation.
Nell continues to check in on Corey to make sure he’s okay. He’s happy to have this rocky period behind him so that he can focus on school and just being a kid again.
Your support makes the success of Corey and kids like him possible. Thank you!