The stress of Cassandra’s* perilous situation had caused her to delve into excessive drinking and substance use. Because of these barriers, she lost her children to the Department of Health and Human Services. Cassandra finally escaped a domestic violence relationship and sought help in the Heartland Family Service Sanctuary House.Read Full Story
The stories we report here are actual client cases. They are the children, parents, couples and individuals we work with every day. For most, their names, photos and some details have been changed to protect their privacy. But some of our clients are strong advocates for the services they received, and tell their stories through video. All offer their stories so you can better understand how lives can be changed when someone in need asks for our help.
Since she was a teenager, Desta was a fighter. To cope withsevere childhood trauma, she began using substances and getting in trouble frequently. As she grew older and had children, those children were removed from her care multiple times. It came to the point that Desta knew she needed help, so she contacted the Heartland Family Service Family Works program in Iowa. She arrived in the program angry at the system that removed her children, at her partner and father of her children for enabling her substance use, but most of all, Desta was angry at herself, her choices, and her recent relapse that landed her back in treatment.Read Full Story
When Hannah* stepped onto her college campus for the first time, no one could tell just by looking at her that the burden she carried far exceeded the weight of her backpack. After years of keeping her traumatic past a secret, Hannah finally felt safe enough to seek help through therapy on her college campus. She shared that she had been repeatedly sexually molested by her father and he had also isolated her from her family.Read Full Story
As a child, Jim struggled with a number of health issues that many other kids his age did not experience. When he was seven, doctors diagnosed him with moderate intellectual disabilities and a seizure disorder. As a result, Jim struggled to make friends and always felt like an outcast. At 15, he wound up falling in with the wrong crowd, who introduced Jim to a life of crime and drugs, and his life quickly spiraled downward.Read Full Story