Hope for Joey: CASA Success Story

There are over 500 kids in our county who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and need a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  CASA advocates make recommendations to the court, based on the best interest of the children. Kids like Joey.

Joey was less than a year old when he was placed in protective custody. His mother brought him to the local hospital. He was very pale, congested, and coughing. Joey’s mother was incoherent upon arrival to the hospital and passed out several times. Hospital staff notified law enforcement who arrested the mother. She later admitted to being addicted to heroin and methamphetamine.

Joey was transferred to the Neo-Natal Unit and diagnosed with Failure to Thrive, based on parental neglect. He could barely eat or drink, and the back of his head was severely flat. This baby was in very critical condition.

CASA volunteer, Denise, was assigned to advocate for him and foster placement arranged. Joey is now almost two years old and Denise visits him weekly to observe his development. She has a very supportive relationship with the foster mom, attends medical appointments and occupational therapy sessions with Joey and reports he is making good progress.

Denise is dedicated to Joey’s recovery and said although he faces many challenges she will stay by his side to ensure he grows up in a safe, nurturing, and permanent home.

This is just one example of lives positively affected by a CASA volunteer advocate. 

A Chance at ECHO: Tom and Jolie

ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization is a transitional shelter in Northern San Luis Obispo County that is helping families and individuals find permanent housing. ECHO is for people who are ready to make a change in their lives. People like Tom, Jolie, and their son.

Tom wandered into ECHO confused, hungry and tired.  Over lunch he talked about how he, his partner and their son were sleeping on friends’ couches after he lost his job over a year ago. Though he just took a job working for a landscaper, he had no food and no place to stay. 

The next day, his family moved into ECHO. Case management worked with Tom on a monthly budget and provided tools to save and spend wisely. Tom and Jolie ate dinner and breakfast every night at ECHO and packed lunches each morning so they would not spend any money on food.

They were careful not to spend unnecessarily and truly used the resources at ECHO to help save the most they could. ECHO connected Jolie with CAPSLO for daycare options for their son. Once they got him into a daycare, she began working part time at a store in Paso Robles.

Tom and Jolie saved $10,000 during their stay at ECHO.  Using the computer at the shelter, they began looking for a home to rent.  Soon, they moved into their own permanent and stable housing.

Tom talked about how he will be forever grateful for that one afternoon when he wandered on to the ECHO campus and realized that if he wanted to, ECHO could provide him with the stability and support he needed to make a positive change in his life.

ECHO gave Tom and Jolie a second chance and their story is just one example of a life positively affected by ECHO.