Every child has their own story . . .Since my arrival at Crittenton Centers a little over a year ago, I have been asked many questions about the work that takes place here. Some questions have been very specific while others have been general in nature. Oftentimes the response by those asking is similar . . . WOW! I never realized there was that kind of need or that there were those kinds of challenges for families in the Peoria area. One of the questions that I have been asked the most is about the work we do in the Crisis Nursery. What are some of the reasons that someone needs to use the Crisis Nursery?
There is no short answer to this question, as there are numerous reasons that someone may need the Crisis Nursery. There are some very obvious reasons like: child care fell through at the last minute, an unexpected situation came up, or the mother has become very frustrated and really needs a break. Then there are also some that are a little more unusual like: a mother of triplets that needed to clean their apartment and do laundry but couldn’t with the demands of the triplets, the mother that had to have surgery but didn’t have anyone to take care of her children, or the mom that was living in a shelter and had a job interview. Each of these scenarios has a common thread of people trying to manage their lives, and because of the circumstances there is potential for it to turn into an abusive or neglectful situation for the children involved.
One night a few months ago, the worker in the Crisis Nursery received a phone call from the Peoria Police Department regarding a situation they were dealing with. The worker asked some basic questions in order to determine how best to help. The Police had just arrested a man and woman in downtown Peoria for public intoxication / disorderly conduct amongst other things. While the Police were going through the process of the arrest, they learned that they had a 6 week old baby with them. The matter was further complicated by the fact that these individuals were not from Peoria, but were actually from out of state. The Police would learn later that these individuals actually had several outstanding arrest warrants from other states. This is a difficult situation to say the least, and further complicated because an innocent 6 week old baby was caught up in all of this by no choice of their own. This is a sad reality that happens all too often, and then we wonder why some individuals struggle as they reach the teen years and become adults.
Within an hour or so of the phone call there were two Police Officers pushing a stroller into the building with this little baby. Once things were settled with the Officers, the staff proceeded to make sure that all of the immediate basic needs were met. The baby was bathed, had their diaper changed, and provided with new clothing. The staff then fed, spent time rocking, and loving the baby. Most of the items were available to provide because of the generosity of our donors. We could not do what we do without them and are grateful of their ongoing support. The baby ended up spending a few days with us while the authorities sorted through all of the details in order to do what was best for the baby.There have been over 5,800 admissions to the Crisis Nursery in the last year and this this is just one of the many stories that make the Crisis Nursery such a valuable asset to community as we strive to protect and nurture the children and families in our care.
President & CEO