Lisa Green encounters stories of transformation
Lisa Green, director of Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Assistance (CAPA)/PREPARES since 2016, is thankful to be part of the stories of transformation she encounters in efforts to offer stabilizing and advocacy services to expecting and parenting individuals and families with children under five.
Those services range from providing diapers and clothing to parenting classes and mentoring.
“It humbles me to watch families with so little have so much hope. When I have a bad day and drive by a mother at a bus stop, I remember how blessed I am. Sharing in the parenting journeys of families brings me joy,” Lisa said.
Parents may stop by when their children are graduating from high school to let us know they are succeeding because of the help they received.
“They are thankful for the opportunity to be what they hoped to be personally and to learn to be the parents they want to be,” she said. “I see parents come from abuse and neglect who complete the Circle of Security classes and do not want to yell at or hit their children.
“It’s human to slip up, but I see parents persevere so they move out of the generational cycle of abuse, poverty and neglect,” she said. “We help parents move forward, stay positive and break cycles.”
Lisa, who earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 1993 at Eastern Washington University, taught preschool before she started to volunteer with CAPA 23 years ago. She came on staff in 2001. In 2015, she earned a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies.
“CAPA supports families who have chosen life and have chosen to parent,” she said. “Women faced with a choice about parenting know there is a program that will care for and support them. We empower families to know there is support.”
Lisa listed CAPA/PREPARES’ services for families with children under five.
• The Circle of Security is a 10-week course for breaking the cycles of abuse and neglect by helping families identify unhealthy patterns and build attachment to create healthy children.
• The Fatherhood Project mentors fathers to build bonds with their children.
• Family Companions mentors parents to build bonds with their children, with mentors meeting with parents two hours a week for a year.
• Individual and family therapy programs serve pregnant women and parents.
In the process of families receiving diapers and clothing, staff help connect them with housing and other Catholic Charities programs like Rising Strong, St. Margaret’s Shelter, Food for All and supportive housing.
The Caring for Kids 2019 benefit from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Historic Davenport Hotel is a chance to talk about the connection of all Catholic Charities services and Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, Lisa said.
The event raises funds to support more than 1,850 children in the community: 37 through Rising Strong; 805 through Catholic Charities Housing, 268 through CAPA/PREPARES, 17 at St. Margaret’s Shelter, and 725 through Homeless Resources, plus those in Morning Star residential, foster care and at-home programs.
“There are so many negative things for parents to worry about,” she said. “CAPA/PREPARES and Morning Star Boys Ranch are two organizations that have served families collaboratively for 23 years, giving children a shot at being successful.
“We help with stressors of life in raising children,” Lisa said.
The CAPA/PREPARES program’s office is in the basement of St. Anne’s Child Care, which she said also helps enrich lives of families.
“Good child care is a way to care for families,” Lisa said.
Catholic Charities pulls together programs, collaborating and sharing resources.
CAPA can serve more than 4,500 families a year through diapers, clothing, classes and mentoring.
Catholic Charities serves more than 70,000 individuals in all its programs.
“Many families have urgent needs,” she said. “About 500 participate in classes we offer to improve their lives.”
There are weekly groups: Mondays for the Fatherhood Program, Secure Beginnings on Tuesdays, Music Together on Wednesdays and Prepared Moms on Thursdays.
Needs differ depending on where families are on their parenting journeys.
Catholic Charities grew out of the Catholic Social Betterment League which began in 1912. It reorganized as Catholic Charities in 1940. CAPA formed in 1985 to provide wraparound support services to low-income single pregnant women and low-income single parents with small children.
For information, call 455-4970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, October, 2019