Porter-Leath’s Sarah’s Place is a residential facility on Manassas Street, which has space available for youth who need a safe and nurturing environment to live away from home. Sarah’s Place is operated by clinical staff 24-hours a day and focuses on providing trauma informed support to both youth and their families. Tony Jackson, Jr. is a case manager for Residential Services who sees his role as an opportunity to ‘fill the gap’ for youth at Sarah’s Place. He says that while not all of the teens’ stories are the same, they unfortunately all have home situations that currently are not conducive to a healthy living situation. Jackson works in conjunction with his Residential Services team - including residential monitors, on-site therapists, leadership and case managers - to provide for the safety and wellbeing of those in their care.
Jackson coordinates with each youth’s social worker from the Department of Children Services and ensures that the teens are able to attend doctor appointments and court appearances, and obtain any supplies or resources they may need. Building a rapport with each teen and establishing positive routines are also primary goals for Jackson. At Sarah’s Place, there is a points structure that helps reinforce positive behaviors like good behavior, participating in group therapy, going to school and maintaining tidy surroundings. “Some kids don’t always have people that care about them or just someone to listen. That is why I think our staff is most impactful, kids feel like they can open up and tell us things they don’t feel comfortable telling their peers,“ Jackson said.
The team at Sarah’s Place is willing and able to provide motivation and guidancetowards good choices and behaviors. They also look for opportunities to provide fun and meaningful activities for the youth through weekend activities like stopping by the riverwalk downtown on a beautiful day, visiting the National Civil Rights Museum or bringing in a barber for new hair cuts. The ultimate goal of residential services is the reunification of families or the ability to find a safe, permanent home with a relative or forever family. However, while youth are housed at Sarah’s Place, they can expect to find an accepting, positive environment that can provide structure and stability during otherwise turbulent times.
For more information about Connections, visit porterleath.org/connections or contact Dennis Fleming, Vice President of Social Services, at email@example.com.