Chicago, IL – NYAP’s successful mission statement helped change the lives of the families and youth that we serve

Success Story by Duron Hebron, Treatment Coordinator

This past Christmas day I received a phone call regarding one of the youth in our care stating that he had nowhere to go. This was a major inconvenience because not only was I pulled away from my family but I had to follow protocol and alert Debra Conley and Judy Strnad. My immediate supervisor (Bridgette Henderson) was in Texas working. The adolescent youth was sleeping outside in the below zero weather in Peoria, Illinois. (He was in a self-selected unapproved placement).

A stranger called my cell phone and stated that she had found this youth outside freezing with no place to go. The unknown lady stated that she would help him get to the bus station after she feed him and let him warm up. The youth was 5 hours away with no money, resources or knowledge of how to get out of this situation. The easy thing to do was to transfer his case back to the State of Illinois and be done with it. The youth had a sense of hopelessness.

The NYAP treatment team went to work; Judy Strnad was in Ohio quarterbacking the next move as Debra and I searched for a foster parent who would be willing to take this youth on an emergency basis. The placement was supposed to be temporary while we investigated the appropriate level of care for him. Judy helped the team empower the youth to start the process of taking responsibility for his actions and assisted in purchasing a ticket to the bus station in Chicago. I picked him up and took him to his new home on the west side of Chicago.

The reason for this story is to highlight why we do this work. I now know what NYAP’s mission statement really means. NYAP will do whatever it takes to help change the lives of the families and youth that we serve. The foster parent has given the youth the love he needed to survive and he recently attended his high school prom. Moments like this help us understand the importance of the work we do.