At Lotus House, we recognize that every aspect of a child’s experience in our shelter, from therapeutic care and education to the physical space and its contents, is integral to their wellbeing, offering opportunities for healing, growth, exploration, discovery and learning. We know that homelessness is traumatic for everyone, especially children. In safe, supportive shelter with protective factors that put children first, we have the opportunity to mend broken bonds, heal bodies and minds, and uplift spirits so that children and families thrive.
Childhood is a time of intense growth and development in all areas, including a child’s intellectual, social and emotional development, laying the foundation for their success in school and later life. When their needs are met by positive and consistent early experiences with loving caregivers and nurturing environments, babies and young children thrive. In Lotus Village this begins with a model therapeutic early childcare and education center, with six classrooms offering a full range of therapeutic and community supports for our littlest ones, newborns to age 3, and their mothers, in collaboration with the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.
Thanks to The Children’s Trust and our research partners at Florida International University, our counselors offer an expanded array of assessments for every child to better understand their needs, and are implementing new, evidence-based, child and family therapies for all children and families. Best practices are evaluated and outcomes advanced by service driven research, to provide greater insight into and solutions for children and families who are victims of violence and other serious traumas.
Our objectives of creating and fostering a nurturing educational and social environment that truly places children first are carried throughout Lotus House and our new home in Lotus Village, with critical child and family case management, resource coordination, linkages to community services, enriched after school programming for all ages, and welcoming, child-friendly spaces from our new intake sanctuary and family rooms to the special children’s playroom, art and activities lab, and children’s garden.