Gifts of Caring 2016

Click Here To View The 2016 Gifts Of Caring Catalog



Alexis & Jenny’s Story

Alexis and JennyAlexis, three and a half, and Jenny, one and a half, first came to COI with their parents to stay in the Emergency Family Shelter. After entering the transitional shelter program for families, Alexis and Jenny’s parents enrolled them at Mari’s Place so that they could continue their education and save money as they looked for permanent housing.

Alexis, who was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, struggled with behavioral issues, and she received the one on one attention she needed, and has shown improvement in her ability to focus on activities at home and in the classroom. While the girls received support from the dedicated Mari’s Place Staff the family also worked with COI’s Child Support Specialist, who focuses on the unique needs of each child.

The CSS hosts group activities for children in shelter as well as spending one on time with each child to ensure their social and emotional needs are being met. While staying at Community Outreach, Alexis and Jenny’s parents both earned their GEDs and found employment. Today the family has a home of their own and Alexis and Jenny continue to attend Mari’s Place, arriving each day with a smile on their faces.




Susan’s Story

SusanSusan was a survivor of domestic violence and suffered from postpartum depression. She understood she couldn’t stay at home, and couldn’t raise her children alone, so she enrolled her four-year-old son, Austin, and her three year old daughter, Maggie (pictured) at Mari’s Place.

The daycare has provided safety and stability as Susan begins to rebuild her life, receiving the ongoing support she needs. While supported by the dedicated Mari’s Place staff, Austin and Maggie have shown improvement every day, verbally expressing their needs and feelings, and have enjoyed interacting with other children to develop their social skills. Today, Susan, Austin, and Maggie have moved into a home of their own while the children continue to attend Mari’s Place.





Ryan’s Story

Ryan is an Iraq veteran and single father who enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending time with his two children. In August of 2015, struggling CropperCapture[2]with drug and alcohol abuse, Ryan became homeless. Ryan turned to COI for help, and enrolled in the Good To Go program, our transitional shelter for veterans and their families.

Ryan met with a case manager who worked with him to understand his unique needs and challenges and helped him to identify his goals and create a plan to achieve them. While in the Good to Go Program, Ryan was able to receive the substance abuse counseling he needed as well as create positive peer relationships with other veterans in the program. After just over a year of hard work, Ryan and his children moved into a home of their own, he has found full time employment, and has maintained his sobriety for over a year.

Today, Ryan continues to attend Good to Go peer support meetings. He has taken on a leadership role, supporting other veterans in need, and is now neighbors with some of the peer supports he made while at COI.