Flathead Youth Home Provides A Safe, Caring Environment for Kids
Kiera was helped by the Flathead Youth Home during a turbulent time in her life. Her black lab, Annie, was her “guardian angel” during tough times and is still a beloved part of her life today.
Kiera remembers her time at the Flathead Youth Home as a safe haven of normalcy during her tumultuous teen-age years.
She was 16 and had serious problems at home.
“Growing up in my household was full of turbulent emotions, domestic violence and physical and emotional neglect,” said Kiera, “After repeated patterns of neglect and violence at home with my parents, I was placed in the Flathead Youth Home.”
There, she found a calm, safe place after the chaos she had experienced.
“Being in the youth home gave me a safe place to be, where I knew that everybody cared about me,” said Kiera, who at 24 is now a poised and confident young woman. “I knew I could go to any member of the staff and talk to them without worrying about my safety or any negative repercussions. I did more during the time I was at the Flathead Youth Home than I have done with my own family.”
The Flathead Youth Home, a United Way Member Agency, has cared for more than 1,800 children since it was established in 1997. It is the only licensed shelter care program for young adults in Northwest Montana.
Kiera’s respite at the youth home was all too brief, and she faced many difficulties and trials as she reached adulthood. Despite many obstacles, she earned her high school diploma and holds an associate’s degree in small business management. Now, she’s eager to support the efforts of the youth home in helping young people.
“They are trustworthy, safe people that can really be a positive influence on your life,” she said.
She wants to encourage other young people who are discouraged and going through tough times.
“I want young people to know that you can go through something and overcome it, I can’t do anything about my own past, but I can change someone else’s future.”
The Flathead Youth Home is one of the many agencies and services that benefit from the local United Way campaign to help our neighbors throughout Northwest Montana - Great Things Happen When We Live United!
Although her story has a positive ending — she finished school and is happily married — many others in our community still need the help that United Way agencies can provide.
“It’s places like the Flathead Youth Home that help kids get through their story, the way they helped me get through mine,” Kiera said.