Today Hans is an image of cheer, care, and gratitude, but back in 2014 he was confused, frustrated, and hurt. Hans has a history of drug use and alleged domestic violence charges that, in November of 2014, resulted in his 3-year-old daughter being taken away. Hans knew about The Matthews House—he had even met with Todd, a Family Advocate at The Matthews House, earlier in the year. When he lost his daughter, Hans was reconnected with The Matthews House and requested to again work with Todd.
Reflecting on their second meeting, Todd says, “I saw a lot of growth this time around.” He wanted to turn his life around. Hans did everything to make sure he would get his daughter back, completing every program available, passing three drug tests a week for eight months, and complying with visitation. The Matthews House walked alongside him as he navigated the court system. Hans would vent to Todd and then Todd would help him reframe what was going on. Hans says, “I’m old enough to be Todd’s dad, but he has been more like an older brother to me.” Hans learned how to share his opinions and feelings in court in a way he would be heard and respected. After a grueling year and a half, in March of 2016 Hans was reunited with his sweet daughter. Hans says, “I don’t know if I could have done all of it without the help of [The Matthews House].”
For the past year Hans has attended Dad’s Café, a Parent Café specifically for fathers that models effective parenting skills. It has helped him stay sober and continues to instill positive parenting methods for his daughter. Hans’ favorite thing about Dad’s Café is, “Most guys don’t open up and [Dad’s Café] is a place where we are stepping out of our comfort zone. It is a reminder that everyone has their own little battles to face. I love Dad’s Café; it is good for the spirit.” He also continues to attend Family Dinners and utilize other community resources.
Todd says, “[Hans] now works well under pressure, remains calm, and shares his feeling in a productive way. He is a totally changed man from the first time I met him. When he knows someone has his back it gives him motivation and security.” When Todd said these words Hans humbly agreed. With tears in his eyes he said, “The Matthews House turned it around for me. It was so difficult [when I lost my daughter]. There were so many hoops to jump through. The Matthews House does a tremendous service. You guys are so important to the community.”