Editor’s Note: Some names have been changed to protect identity.
Daniel is 77 years old and lives alone at an independent senior apartment building. Though he is alert and oriented, his self-neglect manifested in his lack of housekeeping. As his living conditions deteriorated, the Adult Protective Services program at Metropolitan Family Services’ Skokie Valley Center learned of his situation and stepped in to help.
APS Case Worker Maria Raygoza visited Daniel’s apartment; she shares it was not easy for him to let her in. As Daniel started to open up and accept assistance, Maria, with his consent, began to coordinate the support he needed.
APS investigates allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults as well as adults with disabilities, and connects victims with supportive resources to improve their situations. That’s just one part of a dynamic network of holistic social services programs Metropolitan offers to empower children and families throughout Skokie, Golf, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove and Niles.
Program support focuses on emotional wellness, from mental and behavioral health to support for families formed by adoption. As well as education, including early learning, child, youth and parent development, and a school-based substance abuse prevention program.
Most staff live in the Skokie Valley area, where Metropolitan has maintained a presence since 1910. Staff members, like Maria, work alongside the children and families they serve as a “hand up,” not a handout.
“I am thankful I was able to be a part of the reason why Daniel now lives in a safe and clean environment,” Maria says. “I was able to change the living situation by recommending the right resources for him. I know Daniel is happy with the positive changes I was able to assist him with.”
Additionally, Skokie Valley families benefit from access to Metropolitan Family Services’ agency-wide family of programs in education, economic stability, emotional wellness and empowerment.
“I now know Daniel has trust in me and trust for APS because of what we did for him,” Maria shares. “I will continue to help and advocate for those in need and continue to make positive changes in the areas I serve.”
Daniel’s story is just one example. Metropolitan Family Services has been empowering Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities since 1857.
Additionally, consider joining Metropolitan Family Services, Ulta Beauty and Make It Better for a live virtual discussion on how to “sustain a successful partnership between the nonprofit and corporate leaders.” Tune in January 24 at 11am CST, more details and a link to the event can be located on the Better Virtual Events page.