Case for Support
Nazareth Home, a licensed foster home located in East Chicago, Indiana, provides individualized care 24 hours per day for medically compromised children who are referred by the Department of Child Services. The mission of Nazareth Home is to care for poor and powerless infants and children, those unable to speak for themselves, by providing them with a loving, caring and stable beginning. Nazareth Home is dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these infants and children who are faced with extraordinary challenges in life as a result of being abandoned or removed from families without the capacity to provide appropriate care. A child who is designated as medically compromised may be suffering from drug withdrawal or may be attached to a variety of life support systems.
The necessity for an intensive care facility for babies with unique medical needs was identified by Lake County Department of Child Services in 1993. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ [Ancilla Domini Sisters] responded to this critical need by creating Nazareth Home. The home is licensed for five infants and children ranging in age from newborn through six. More than 160 children who are wards of the court have been referred to Nazareth Home by the Department of Child Services. They remain at Nazareth Home until they can be reunited with their rehabilitated parents, placed with extended family members, placed in a long-term foster home, or adopted.
At Nazareth Home, children receive specialized care in a stable and loving environment to help overcome their physical challenges. They are provided with the unconditional love and support that are crucial elements in the physical, spiritual and emotional development that every child deserves. According to Dr. James Goldyn, who has tracked the progress of the Nazareth Home babies from birth to grade school, it is this exceptional level of care that is directly responsible for these babies to ultimately function as normal children. The nurturing environment creates children who model generosity, attentiveness and compassion in their social interactions.
The profile of a child placed at Nazareth Home by the Department of Child Services is heartbreaking. Some of the babies have birth weights of less than two pounds; their lives are so fragile that they require tubes, monitors and oxygen to survive. Their medical needs may include such unique medical problems as a cleft palate, making feeding a lengthy and tedious process. Frequent trips to hospital emergency rooms in the middle of the night or air transport to various children's medical centers are not uncommon. The children placed at Nazareth Home require a level of care not available in traditional settings. It is not unusual for a child placed at Nazareth Home to be so ill that the medical prognosis is that they may never talk, walk or run. Miracles occur as a result of the medical care and nurturing. Children not anticipated to survive are stabilized and gradually achieve the normal stages of early childhood development. Children with incredible physical limitations are adopted into loving families.
Nazareth Home is located in a home in East Chicago and is an integral part of the community. The ministry maintains a home-like setting with children's bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen and playroom. At Nazareth Home, a child receives the care and nurturing so critical in the early years of life to ensure progress through the appropriate stages of early childhood development. The director of Nazareth Home is a licensed foster parent with years of experience in caring for the medical needs of a unique group of children. Nazareth Home has a staff of 12 employees including four with degrees in Child and Family Services.
In addition to the dedicated staff, Nazareth Home also has dozens of 'cuddlers', volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time each year to visit the house and play with the children. Nazareth Home is a wonderful example of how it takes a village to raise a child.
The State of Indiana supplies a minimal daily stipend for the children in residence at Nazareth Home. Due to the incredible medical costs associated with caring for these children, the state stipend covers only a small portion of the actual expenses incurred. Operating costs are $27,935 per month or $5,587 per child based on five children, and this figure does not include donations of formula, clothing, toys and diapers. Historically, Nazareth Home has been partially subsidized by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ [Ancilla Domini Sisters], an international congregation of women religious within the Roman Catholic Church. The sisters sponsor a variety of ministries devoted to underserved populations. The changing demographics of the congregation have prompted the sisters to look beyond their own resources and to invite others to partner with them. The Nazareth Home goal is to secure future financial viability.
A longtime donor has established a fund for the benefit of Nazareth Home in the PHJC Foundation. The Nazareth Home Fund will generate a stream of income to underwrite a portion of the operating support needed to provide care for the children. Love creates miracles at Nazareth Home, a safe haven for scores of foster infants and children who have nowhere else to turn. Hold a baby in your arms at Nazareth Home and feel the difference love makes. Share your financial resources by contributing to the Nazareth Home Fund or donate clothing, toys, food and baby supplies and be a part of the miracle that is Nazareth Home.
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For more information, please contact:
P.O. Box # 3067
East Chicago, IN 46312-8067