GREAT FALLS – Toby’s House Crisis Nursery in Great Falls is reporting an increase in the number of families approaching their doors. The nursery, which opened a little over a year ago, is named in honor of October “Toby” Perez. She was two years old when she was killed by her mother’s boyfriend in 2011. A decade later, the nursery set up in her honor is working to help children in similar situations.
Susie Zeak, director of Toby’s House Crisis Nursery, said: “We probably get at least three calls a week from parents who have experienced some sort of violence in their home. What we see the most is physical abuse and a lot of neglect. happening in our community. Children deserve to have a good childhood, to be carefree, to play, to laugh and to have fun. And when children see violence in their homes, when they hear that they are experiencing violence, it becomes carried with them into adulthood.”
While receiving an increasing number of phone calls and families seeking shelter, Toby’s House aims to bring hope to those in need.
Zeak explained, “For children to be resilient, they need to have adults around them who are supportive, loving and kind. ‘one of the most important things community members can do for kids is just there for them.’
Although victim support services have expanded, the increase in the number of abused families remains an ongoing problem.
Toby’s House posted on Facebook:
Last month we took care of a sweet girl who had the biggest and most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. I had just come into work and after putting down my things, I introduced myself to the little girl. She didn’t say much but I made sure she knew she was safe. His mother had called us to need our services for the day. Mom was beaten by her husband while their daughter watched.
We are getting more and more calls like this. Moms, dads and even grandparents who need our help because of violence in the home.
We pride ourselves on being able to help families when they need help with their children. We are even more proud to be able to offer children a place where they can be safe and just be children.
Dandelion Foundation Board Member Jamie Marshall said: “The topic of child safety is always an important topic to discuss. take advantage of that, which is the whole purpose of Toby’s House is to be used as a preventive measure.”
Marshall continued, “Science definitively proves that there is a change in brain science when children experience neglect, abuse in any form. It changes an individual. That trauma matters.”
The crisis crèche offers short-term care to children who are brought there voluntarily by a parent or legal guardian. There are many reasons people use an emergency crèche for temporary child care or respite, including:
- There is no safe place for a child to stay while they work out personal issues
- Someone is not able to take care of his child as he would like
- An important date but no one safe to leave a child with
- When life’s stresses and problems become too tolerable and could result in lashing out at a child or when someone feels like they are losing control
- Medical emergencies where a caregiver needs immediate assistance with temporary childcare
- Mental health, addiction crisis
- Respite for Foster Parents
The services provided by Toby’s House Crisis Nursery are free and do not require any qualifications to use.
To learn more, volunteer or make a donation, Click here to visit the site, Where Click here to visit the Facebook page. You can also call 406-770-3191 or email [email protected]tobyshousemt.org.
Click here visit the Dandelion Foundation website to learn more about the organization.