GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Five years ago Sandy Heine watched as her adopted daughter suffered a psychotic episode. It lasted 11 days.
“It was difficult for her to speak. It was difficult for her to think,” said Heine. “It was terrifying.”
After a stint in the hospital, it was Kairos that eventually helped Heine’s daughter recover. Now Heine works for the agency, sharing her experience with kids going through the same thing.
“It’s lived experience,” said Heine. “There’s a lot to say for lived experience.”
Sandy’s work is one part of a larger expansion to the services Kairos offers. The newest building, which houses their treatment foster care program, is the first step.
“These staff work in the community, predominantly,” said Kairos CEO Bob Lieberman. “They’re in the schools, they’re in the foster homes, and they’re helping support children, they’re helping to teach some skills, they’re helping the foster parents learn some skills themselves.”
The foster kids this program helps are extremely high risk, one step below needing live-in care. Across the street, a still unfinished building will go further along the spectrum, offering immediate crisis care for kids who are mid-episode.
“The kids become very dis-regulated,” said Lieberman. “They become suicidal or highly aggressive, and they end up in emergency rooms. And emergency rooms aren’t equipped to respond to those kinds of needs.”
That is something Heine experienced on her own five years ago. Now, thanks to the new campus, they’re taking the same prevention and crisis management that got her daughter back on her feet and providing it to more kids in the community.
It’s all about them,” said Heine. “We’re here for them.”