Young boy finds civilization at Sally’s House
A five-year-old boy came to Sally’s House after his parents were arrested for heavy drug use.
His family was living in squalid conditions in a small RV with no running water or toilet. The police described the conditions as unfit for human use, though it was the only home five-year-old Robbie had ever known. Before his family had moved into the RV, they had camped out in abandoned garages and basements.
Robbie was not toilet trained because he had never encountered working bathroom facilities in a living situation. The RV was covered in garbage and lacked food.
Social workers informed Sally’s House staff that Robbie was used to walking countless city blocks alone in search of food for himself. He had been doing this for as long as he could remember. Robbie had been watching his parents shoplift his entire life and thought this was the normal way to acquire groceries and belongings.
Coming to Sally’s House was very different from anything Robbie had ever known. For the first time ever, he had a clean, warm bed of his own. Robbie’s only clothes were too sizes too small, so our staff quickly added several new outfits and pajama sets to his cubby.
Social Workers initially warned our staff that Robbie would try to leave because he was used to wandering at night while his parents used hardcore street drugs. It took a long time to help Robbie feel safe enough to fall asleep. Staff would sit at his door all night long to ensure his safety. Robbie never tried to leave. Once, when he fell asleep, he slept for over thirteen hours straight.
Robbie adapted to Sally’s House far quicker than anyone expected. He memorized the daily schedule, especially looking forward to meal and snack times. He often asked if he could lie in his bed or play with the stuffed animals on his bed, and then smiled when the staff said yes.
This precious child went from initially stealing food from the Sally’s House dining room and hiding it in his room, to resting in the knowledge that he would be fed. Robbie quit keeping his shoes by his pillow - just in case - and started to keep them in his cubby like his roommates.
Because his parents were still actively using hard drugs, Robbie went to live with a foster home when he left Sally’s House. The child who showed up needing to be bathed three times before he was clean, the one with ill-fitting clothes, who had never owned his own pair of shoes, was now a smiling little boy who knew how it felt to have his needs met and a place to call his own.
Sally’s House helps children, ages 2-12, year-round who have been brought by law enforcement or CPS to this emergency foster care placement facility due to abuse (sexually and/or physically), neglect, abandonment or criminal activity in their homes.
If you believe in the importance of Sally’s House and the positive difference it makes in young lives, please consider making a financial gift to help further children in need.
You can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting www.makingspokanebetter.org and clicking on Donate to this Community. Please include that your gift is for ‘use at Sally’s House Spokane.’