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Families of incarcerated parents get home makeover

When a parent or caregiver goes to jail, children pay the consequences, too. Loss of connection with that parent, often loss of income and opportunity.
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 12:29 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When a parent or caregiver goes to jail, children pay the consequences, too. Loss of connection with that parent, often loss of income and opportunity. It’s why some experts call children the silent victims. Now, a local organization is working to ease that burden.

The Milk and Cookies Project presented one family with a home makeover. One grandma smiled and cried because she realized she finally had her own bed, and so did her grandkids.

“I’m not leaving my room,” one child sighed.

For many of these kids, a room like this? Just dreams - unlikely dreams, until the Milk and Cookies Project stepped in. These kids have a caregiver or parent in jail. The Milk and Cookies Project has helped support kids like them in school and beyond for years.

“We have seen children that are or have known children that are sleeping on concrete floors in public housing,” said Fran Bolin with the Milk and Cookies Project.

As the pandemic hit, and these kids spent more time at home, the reality became more concerning.

“We all need a place to feel safe, to feel connected, it’s like a place that we can grow from,” said Dr. Danielle Dallaire, Professor of Psychology at William and Mary “This year, given all the challenges we felt, this project really filled an important need for these children and their lives because home became a school, and school might have been a safe place to go to. That was all happening in the home.”

They’re just kids, who have favorite colors, and favorite classes.

Stevie McFadden entered the scene with her interior design firm and joined forces with the Milk and Cookies Project to give kids a safe place to call home. Fixing what they could fix, making life easier, and making dreams come true, too.

“This is just a tough situation for anyone,” McFadden said. “But especially these young kids that have maybe been thrown into a set of circumstances with not all the advantages that a lot of kids in our community have, and how much having an incarcerated parent can actually set them back from the very beginning.”

This is meant to set them ahead a little bit. A little joy for them- and all who work together and support.

“It should be important to all of us because as families are able to move forward together, we then see higher success rates with community re-entry and that’s really our overall goal,” Bolin said. “To reduce our recidivism rate, increase rates of public safety in our communities and create a more vibrant and healthy community for us all to live work, and play in.”

The Milk and Cookies Project hopes to help more families, but they count on donations. If you want to learn more about how to help, click here.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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