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Responding with understanding


To say Peter (not his real name) was angry when he came to Lutherbrook was an understatement. Now 18 years old, Peter was verbally and physically abused by his mother when he was a child. He had problems controlling his anger, which manifested itself through verbal and physical aggression. That aggression led to run-ins with law enforcement; a relationship which was further complicated by stealing on Peter’s part. When he arrived at Lutherbrook, Peter dealt with his anger by breaking things, leading to thousands of dollars-worth of damage.

After DCFS removed Peter from his mother’s care, he moved in with his grandmother, but eventually DCFS had to place him at Lutherbrook in an effort to get him the help he needed dealing with his anger and aggression. Peter has now been at Lutherbrook for just over a year and the results are inspiring.

Lutherbrook staff worked closely with Peter, developing relationships with him in an effort to understand and identify what was at the root of his behavior, what could be done to help him and what he could do to help himself. Lutherbrook Resident Art Therapist Anikka Knick had him do an art project making a wallet out of duct tape. She noted that because the duct tape was so sticky and kept sticking to itself, Peter had to learn how to control his anger and still complete the art project. Today, he is proud of the fact that he made three of the duct tape wallets as gifts for his grandmother and aunts.

Peter has since gone on to assist in an art exhibit at the Addison Public Library for the 2015 LCFS calendar, which was illustrated by Lutherbrook youth. His involvement here required Peter to come early, help set up, greet attendees and help serve refreshments. He did a great job.

Peter’s also involved in the Lutherbrook Transitional Living Program. Through the program it was discovered that Peter likes to work and do physical labor. He’s now working with the Lutherbrook Maintenance department, his jobs include collecting trash, handling the recycling, working in the garden and shoveling snow. The skills he learns will be helpful when he transitions out of Lutherbrook.

Peter will soon be moving into a transitional living program near his grandmother, whom he remains close to. Efforts are also underway to secure a job for him before he leaves Lutherbrook.

This partnership with Peter and his family is just one example of the work that goes on daily at Lutherbrook and throughout LCFS. It also mirrors the partnerships between LCFS and its supporters. We value these partnerships because they enable us to provide programs and services that assist thousands annually to help themselves and positively transform their lives.


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