Mother’s Day and the Foundation of a Family


This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating two very important HALO staff members who provide the foundation of a family for our kids. In Part One, Lauren Bateman, the Lead Residential Supervisor, at the HALO Home in Jefferson City talks about her journey with HALO and what this family means to her.

What drew me to HALO was the fact that I didn’t even know about a homeless problem in our area. When I heard the statistics and learned that we had no one in town doing anything to help I immediately knew I wanted in. But I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It started out as an idea that we’d put these kids in their own apartments and I’d check in on them a couple times a week. It’s so amazing to see what it’s grown into and to see the successes of the young ladies who have come through. Those successes are what keep me going. Sometimes you don’t see the effects while they’re here with us. Sometimes it comes months or even years down the road but there is nothing that can compare to the feeling of a Thanksgiving dinner with kids who lived in the Transitional Living Program three years ago and their babies are now kids and they’re now adults. There’s no pride quite like their successes.

There’s no pride quite like their successes.Lauren Bateman
My own family was never homeless but we did struggle. When my parents divorced we moved back to Missouri with nothing but what would fit in our station wagon. Things were pretty bleak for a while. I can’t imagine how stressful that was for my mom. But my brother and I never knew the stress. My mom worked so hard to keep our family happy. We didn’t have extra of anything but we had what we needed and most importantly, we always had a reason to laugh. We found a way to have fun as a family no matter what. Some of my best childhood memories are of us having a blast doing mundane things. That’s played a huge part in how I do my job now and how I connect with the girls.

I love it when they do things together. Lately our girls have started hiking as a group and sometimes they go swimming in the river here at the HALO Home. That community building is so important for their futures. HALO staff will always be here if they need us but it’s so important that they can have each other as a peer support group too.

I know it’s cheesy but I do think laughter is the best medicine. It’s also how I view the foundation of a family. It’s someone to make memories with. A lot of times it starts with us finding people who are sometimes completely hopeless and swooping them up in a great big hug and saying “I’ve got your back, kid.” And meaning it. Meaning it so much it hurts. They don’t always believe it when we first say it but over time They start to like us and then they learn to trust us and that’s how we build this family.

Read Part 2 here.