There are several feelings that come up when someone describes what it means to be “at home”. One might mention feelings of comfort, belonging, and familiarity. Pressley Ridge’s residential treatment facility in Pittsburgh is called “Home Places” and not “House Places” because it is meant to be a home environment for children with severe mental health diagnosis.
Monica Mehaffey, a three year staff member at Home Places, demonstrates this daily. She plays a significant part in making a home for the children who live at the facility.
An example of this is Monica’s work with a youth who presented a challenge to her every day. When most people think of confronting the same challenge daily, they often get frustrated. Instead, Monica was patient and remained dedicated to the youth’s growth. She created a sense of reliability in her relationship with the youth. She proved that no matter what, she would be there for the child. With Monica’s help, the youth made it through difficult times and is doing well.
This is just one example of the hard work Monica performs on a daily basis. Monica helps children trust staff and makes them feel like they truly have a home at Home Places.
Beyond creating a healthy and happy environment for the students, Monica is also one of the first people to volunteer to assist staff in difficult situations. She is also a mentor to staff who are looking for support and advice. She does not do this for personal benefit, but for the well-being of the children served at Home Places. Both the children and staff at Home Places have benefitted from Monica’s experiences, knowledge and dedication to the program.