Innovative Boys Town Nevada Outreach Program Rescues Family Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 Page Image Page ContentEmotionally spent and financially broke, Maria Regalado was caught in a whirlwind of despair and devastation. In her words, life was “like a tornado.”“I had no job. My power bill was due. My rent was due. I was ready to be evicted,” explained the mother of two. “I had more problems than answers.”Maria was in jeopardy of losing everything, including custody of her school-aged daughters, Aimee and Athziry. The recovering addict had already experienced the loss of an older son when her parental rights were terminated because of drug abuse. That history, which also included involvement with Child Protective Services, had Maria feeling especially vulnerable.Although now clean and sober, Maria had reason to worry.Her daughters’ school attendance was abysmal, and their truancy raised red flags with teachers. School officials were so concerned, they referred the family to Boys Town Nevada, which had staff at the school to assist struggling students and at-risk families like the Regalados. (The girls’ school is one of four in Las Vegas participating in Boys Town Nevada’s Latin School-Based Collaboration.)A Boys Town Consultant met with Maria, assessed the family’s situation and identified their needs… which were many.Maria was the family’s sole provider and struggled to obtain the most basic necessities. Emotionally troubled, she had difficulty holding down a job. With little money, the cupboards were often bare and the nutritional needs of the girls suffered. The home also had no furniture, so there was no desk or table where the girls could study or do their homework.A lack of money, with all its associated burdens and limits, was only one obstacle. Parenting was another.Maria struggled to maintain her sobriety. When overcome by stress, she turned harsh and overbearing or aloof and distracted. There was no normalcy, consistency, rules or routines for the girls.To stabilize the family’s situation, the Boys Town Nevada Consultant connected Maria to a local food bank where she could stock up on healthy breakfast and dinner staples. Boys Town also helped Maria buy furniture so the family could live in a fully furnished home.With the Regalados’ most immediate physical needs addressed, the Consultant turned her attention to their emotional needs.The Consultant helped Maria find therapy that addressed her mental health issues and supported her addiction recovery. Maria also attended Boys Town Common Sense Parenting ® classes, where she learned how to use effective discipline, communicate more effectively with her daughters (as well as with their school) and create structure in her home. Today, the Regalado family is stronger than ever. Mom is drug-free and pursuing full-time employment while continuing therapy. She’s also tapping into local services for additional support. Aimee and Athziry are regularly attending school and, most importantly, are living in a safer and more stable home.The intervention efforts were intense and not always easy for Maria, but she is grateful for Boys Town’s help, describing it as a “blessing.”“I have a new outlook on how I can redirect my daughters and my family,” Maria said.