Being in partnership with underserved communities requires a commitment to work simultaneously on short term solutions and long-term overhauls. For us, that means providing health services and supports, all the while working for structural changes like policy and practice standards.
Alejandro (not his real name) is one of 4 children. His mother worked in the produce fields. Every morning she would leave their small one room house before dawn and arrive home late in the evening. Alejandro was raised by his 9-year-old sister. He came to our Casa Girasoles after the courts removed him from his home because of unspeakable violence and neglect. At 4 years old, Alejandro has only known violence in his young life.
Our work is to create a loving, supportive, healing environment for Alejandro. Our role is to help him cultivate the life he deserves. But that can't be enough. There are thousands of children in situations like Alejandro. That is why we work not only to provide evidence-based care for Alejandro in our Casa Girasoles program, we also work to build models of care delivery that are trauma informed and strengths based and can inform policy and support better prevention. Our Casa Girasoles program is about building a top down and bottom up approach to child welfare.
The work of Health Bridges – it’s about processes in parallel. We are not only mindful to the needs of those we directly serve, we're also fully considerate to the larger, meta-impact of our efforts. We're thankful to be able to do both.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.