SCHENECTADY, NY -- Raising three children is no easy task. Raising three children alone in a sea of emotional abuse, domestic violence, and drug addiction is nearly impossible. Barely keeping their heads above water and at high-risk of having her children removed from their home, Nicole Tanner, the single mom of three knew she had to do something to keep her family together. That’s when she found Berkshire’s Schenectady Prevention Program.
“I saw this program as an opportunity and a resource for my family in a time of crisis,” said Nicole. “Before Berkshire, we were always taking two steps forward and three steps back.” Through intensive work with Berkshire’s Family Specialist, the Tanner Family was able to obtain the support they needed to escape the violence and abuse that was drowning their self-worth and crippling them from moving forward. Today, Nicole is actively engaged in her recovery and her children are thriving at home and in school.
“Without Berkshire and the resources they connected us to in our community, we wouldn’t have simple things like clothes, the Book Bag Program, transportation or even food,” said Nicole. “I had to learn how to be independent again and provide for my family.” Berkshire’s prevention programs are designed to provide intensive, home, school and community-based services to keep families together and avoid the unnecessary placement of children outside of their home.
“From the very beginning, the Berkshire Prevention Program in Schenectady has been a stabilizing force in the lives of families touched with extraordinary challenges,” stated Paul Brady, Commissioner of Schenectady County DSS. “The program empowers families to develop their own skills and abilities to draw on available resources to meet their long term needs. With the valuable support of the Berkshire Prevention Program the Tanner Family accomplished just that.”
With new found resources and support, Nicole’s oldest son, Gideon, graduated high school this year and will begin community college in the fall.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how far he has come; how far we all have come. We are no longer living in crisis,” said Nicole. “When I felt like I was drowning, Berkshire threw me and my family a lifeline and gave me hope. It’s been such a fight and now I know we can win.”