Success Stories

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.

Sharon Can

Sharon Can

Sharon* was struggling with homelessness, hopping from friends and family, to shelters, to anywhere she could lay her head. This desperation and longing for a safe space led to Sharon using substances to cope and engaging in prostitution to survive. It was then, that she found the Heartland Family Service Sanctuary House concealed emergency shelter.

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Cassandra Can

Cassandra Can

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.

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Desta Can

Desta Can

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.

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Hannah Can

Hannah Can

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.

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