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"Where I started from wasn't sunshine and rainbows.  I was so beaten down, I didn't know how to be a mom anymore. Having Katie as a support system…  it saved me and my children.  I feel very blessed."                                                                        Lynn, a Boys Town In-Home Family Services Parent

During the week of September 10, a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., will highlight Boys Town In-Home Family Services® (IHFS) and specifically how this program is provided to families through Boys Town Iowa. 

Debbie Orduna, Executive Director for Boys Town Iowa, and Lynn Poe, a parent whose life was changed by In-Home Family Services, will present on a panel and have an opportunity to meet with members and staff of the Iowa Congressional delegation. 

Lynn is an extraordinary example of the tremendous impact In-Home Family Services can have on families, keeping parents and their kids together and giving every family member renewed hope. Earlier this year, she spoke at a Boys Town Iowa event. Her speech is presented here:

Not only was I dying inside, but my children were not doing well. Boys Town got involved because I relapsed. I was involved in a heavy domestic violence situation that was scary, and I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I had no hope. Boys Town was consistently kind to me. And so, I took a chance and I was terrified. And I called Boys Town and I said, "I'm using. I don't want this life for my children and I don't want this life for me."They gave me numbers to call rehab so that I could get into an inpatient service that allowed me to take my children, so that while I was healing, my children could also heal. I went into rehab in February. I started a very intense program. And I not only learned how my addiction was affecting me and my children, but I learned how the years and years of childhood abuse, (and) abuse as an adult had affected my life and the choices I was making. And for the first time in a long time, I had hope. I had hope that I could become the mother I dreamt to be. When I had my first daughter, I didn't dream about being beat by my husband. I didn't dream about doing meth instead of taking care of them. But that was the path I took. And I owed it to my children to take a chance and try to make a better life.I graduated from… Iowa Family Works in August. Due to the increasing threat of the domestic violence, I went into the Phoenix House. After the Phoenix House, I found housing through Heartland Family Services. Through this entire time, I was blessed with two Boys Town workers. My first was Brooke VanFosson and my second was Katie Bronson. During this entire time, when you're opening up to a stranger that's involved in the courts about choices you've made, the things you've gone through, it's terrifying.Not one time did Boys Town condemn me. Not one time did they put me down. When I began this journey, I was insecure about everything. Boys Town was to receive multiple calls from me every day, questioning every move I was making. And not one time did they condescend…, that they turned me away. They were always there to answer my questions with patience, support and encouragement.I now have my own housing. And throughout the last year, I've utilized my Boys Town worker. I've gone to their website, where they offer a lot of tips on parenting. I've gone through their parenting class. I have utilized the Closet (a Boys Town store offering free clothing and other items to families receiving services). When I got my apartment and you're starting over completely from scratch, the last thing you think about is how are you gonna do laundry or do baths. You worry about the clothes for your children, the furniture and the food. So, that was an absolute blessing to have that resource available to me.Boys Town has been not only life-changing in my life, but it was life-saving. The depression and the path I was headed on was death. If the drugs hadn't killed me, I would have killed myself. My children were worth more and I was worth more, and these people stepped up and helped me see that, the reassurance through constantly encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and do what needed to be done for not only my children but for myself. Thank you for your time.