Single mother credits Starfish Family Services for transforming her life

A single mother is crediting a Wayne County program with transforming her life.

She says Starfish Family Services not only helped her get back on her feet but also improved the lives of her children.

"I was going through a really nasty divorce and I had nothing. I was on the verge of eviction, I didn't know how I was going to take care of my two kids on my own. I was a stay-at-home mom I didn't have any money," Jenn Ochs said.

She already had a child attending school with Starfish but Jenn needed help - and the program stepped up.

"Next thing I know they were helping me with diapers, wipes, giving my daughter mental health, which was huge during the transition."

And supporting children and families is what they do at about a dozen locations across metro Detroit. They provide essential supplies, education and mental and behavioral support. Jenn's daughter benefited greatly from these services after the divorce.

"Getting her into mental health therapy was very important to me. Some people didn't agree because she was so young and they put the stigma on, 'Well she's only three.' Well, 3-year-olds have a lot to say, they just don't know how to say it. So getting her into that, you should see her now."

Nearly 700 families are currently being served in the early childhood program during the pandemic and the organization wants families to know they're here to help.

"I felt like I was on top of the world, everything was finally coming together. I owe it to not just Starfish but the family and friends that I've met through Starfish. We are a family service but we are a family too."

Jenn now herself is an assistant teacher in Starfish's Head Start program.

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