New England Lift

Fostering a Sense of Community - Lift with Boys Town Offers Help for Those in Need

It started like any other morning. Boys Town New England’s Senior Director of Program Operations, Eli Escrogin, was just walking down the street toward her favorite coffee shop, but this day proved to be different. Eli noticed a family of three looking lost and scared standing on the sidewalk. As she drew nearer, they spoke to her in Spanish asking for directions to the library. Something inside her told her that their paths had crossed for a reason, and she was right.

Eli, who is fluent in Spanish, warmly responded to them. She soon learned that they had just arrived from Venezuela, and she could sense their despair as they shared that things were not going well and that they didn’t know where to turn. Eli’s bright smile turned their fears to hope as she told them about her role at Boys Town and how she could help them. They followed her back to her office.

The day of that first visit, the family had to rush to another appointment, so an intake appointment was scheduled for two days later. By the time that day arrived, the family’s situation had gone from bad to worse. Eli noticed that they looked exhausted, and a sadness filled the conference room where they were gathered. Through her tears, Kimberlin, the mother, shared that she had no food for her young son and that they were living in their car at a truck stop.

Eli immediately flew into action and within a few minutes returned with an armload of basic items, snacks, and food. The little boy devoured a granola bar with a big smile of gratitude. Meanwhile, Eli was hard at work finding services to help them through the Lift with Boys Town program, a community-based program that helps those in need. She knew she could help them.

Almost immediately, Eli’s help ensured that the family began receiving assistance and within a few weeks, both mom and dad, Kimberlin and José, had jobs they enjoyed. Their son also received the medical and dental care he needed and was enrolled in school, where he continues to thrive. The family celebrated that they were finally back on their feet and had hope for the future and a new friendship was forged.

“Helping families like Kimberlin’s is why I do what I do,” said Eli. Kimberlin shared, “I feel appreciation, affection and gratitude for Boys Town. It is like my home, my family.”

I think that New England area allows an opportunity for people to really know one another. There's a sense of community in the New England area. So that morning I was going to my favorite coffee shop. I start walking towards a coffee shop and I see this family that's walking towards me. The mom approached me and she, and she asked me if I spoke Spanish. And immediately I saw the husband and the little boy behind her. And so they asked me if I knew where the library was, told them, okay, can I use your phone so that I can give you the GPS, I can put the, the I address in the GPS and make it easier for you to get to the library. And that's when they reported to me that they did not have service and that they didn't have funds. So I asked them what their story was and, and invited them to our office. They needed, um, some documents printed so that they can then get some services for their child. They had to rush out because they had an appointment. And so I ended up, um, scheduling an intake so that they can get the support that they needed. And by the time I met them to the time our intake happened, they were in a place where they needed even more support than they needed the couple days before because they were sleeping in the, in their car at a truck stop. But the father didn't sleep that night because he wanted to make sure the kid and his mom were safe. So he didn't, he didn't sleep. He stayed up all night and I didn't have any funds to, to eat. So I immediately stopped what I was doing, went and grabbed basic needs. That included some snacks. And when I walked into the conference room to provide, uh, these items, the father was laid out on the conference table. Um, the mother and the son just looked really drained and exhausted. I still remember the way that, you know, Dalum grabbed the granola bar and just stuffed his face with that granola bar. I've never seen someone eat something as simple as a granola bar that way. And to be able to come and see a family who I, you know, just met in the sidewalk just days prior, meet a family that way and then support them immediately, I think is why I do what I do. Kimberlin is mom. Jose is the father. One more side and Dalum is the little 8-year-old boy. Seeing them recently was really nice to see the difference that they did have the things that they needed and to see them happy and playful and together. 'cause I know that all could be affected by the, um, situations that families go through like theirs. Kimberlyn had mentioned that she, and when she was living in Venezuela with her son, her, her husband was murdered. And because it was a really tough, um, environment, situation to live in, there was a lot of murder, kidnapping, different things. Later she was able to meet Jose. Um, they decided that they wanted to come to United States for a better life. Kimberlin, um, is now currently working in a fast food restaurant. She really enjoying it, really likes it. And Jose is currently a mechanic and he's, um, really enjoys his work. Dylum in school. He is thriving in school now. He's speaking English. Uh, he was able to, he's count his numbers in English too, which is awesome. Um, and he also translates for mom as needed. He did also get the medical care that he needed dental care, the way his gums were so inflamed, his teeth weren't, weren't coming out. And now they are. I think the biggest thing for me has always been helping those that are struggling. And this is why I do the work that I do. I love working for Boys Town.