GREENFIELD, Ind. – An organization is stepping up helping Hoosier families in need.
Safe Families for Children is a faith-based nonprofit that helps those who are in crisis. Families sign up as hosts and can offer to take in people’s children if their parents have an emergency. In some cases, the temporary housing lasts a weekend. Sometimes, it can last a year.
“It is difficult and heartbreaking sometimes,” said Lauren Deckard, a single mother with three children.
When Deckard was about to give birth to her youngest, her son, she realized she didn’t have anywhere for her daughters to stay while she was in the hospital. She turned to Safe Families for Children for help.
“It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was the most beneficial,” she recalled.
Deckard’s daughters, Lilah and Lilly, stayed with Danielle Crone and her family.
“If we can do it, why say no? That’s why we signed up to do it,” Crone told CBS4.
The Crones kept Deckard’s girls while she delivered her son and bonded with him. Then, they kept the girls while Deckard went back to work and adjusted to her new life as a mom of three.
“I think it’s a brave thing to say, at this moment, ‘I can’t do this. I need help.’ That is the hardest thing a mom can do because we’re supposed to do it all and it’s hard,” Crone said.
So far, Crone has opened her home to about eight children. They have been of all ages.
“I get people always telling me, ‘Oh, I could never do it, I would get too attached.’ And I think–I get attached for sure–I love all the kids that come into my home. But if you’re really doing it for the right reasons, you’ll understand that when it’s time for them to move on to their family, you’ll understand you did what you were called to do. That was your purpose and now you’re done. Job well done, and you kind of step back,” Crone said.
Deckard’s girls still visit Crone from time to time. They even have a dedicated room at the Crone’s house.
“I always feel like if they don’t have that circle or that village to kind of step in around them, we get to step in and kind of be that village and be that circle for those people who are lacking that,” Crone said.
Safe Families for Children says parents from all different backgrounds come to them for help. Some families are experiencing homelessness, some parents are unemployed and unable to support their children, while others are facing medical situations.
“It’s not necessarily a situation where DCS has to step in, but we can step in for that short amount of time,” said Melissa Ham, Safe Families for Children spokesperson. “We are not affiliated with the Department of Child Services. We are a completely voluntary program.”
Safe Families for Children has more than 108 chapters nationwide. It hosted more than 6,200 kids in 2019.