JP Kids: Italian Home helps troubled children

April 25, 2014
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The Italian Home for Children (IHC), located at 1125 Centre St. for 95 years, helps the kids other organizations can’t.

The residential and day-time facility treats severely abused and neglected at-risk children aged 4 to 14. Children who cycle through foster homes, have survived abuse or attempted suicide—the IHC works with troubled kids to reintegrate them back into their communities, IHC Director of Events and Public Relations Julie Clerc told the Gazette last week.

And with varied histories, a child’s measure of improvement varies just as much, she said.

“Success for the children at Italian Home has a wide range. For some children, simply brushing their teeth for four nights in a row without constant reminder is a success, while another child’s success may be passing a reading level in school,” she explained.

Founded in 1918 following the influenza epidemic that left hordes of North End children orphaned, the institution refocused in the 1970s to concentrate on children of all nationalities and ethnicities with behavioral and emotional issues.

Some of its programs keep the kids living on the premises. In others, the kids continue to live at home while receiving treatment or counseling at IHC. There is also a school on campus for kids who “cannot behaviorally and emotionally perform in a public school, and need more individualized treatment,” Clerc said.

“We would love for all JP residents to know about our organization and the awesome children we serve, and also invite any and all interested residents to contact us and come for a visit to get a true feeling of Italian Home for Children’s success,” she added.

IHC’s major yearly fundraiser, the Annual Charlie Kelleher Fun Run/Walk, will take place April 26, at 9 a.m. at Forest Hills Cemetery. Registration for the 5K circuit begins at 8 a.m. and costs $20. Mike O’Connor can provide more information at 617-524-4396.

The Italian Home for Children at 1125 Centre St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

The Italian Home for Children at 1125 Centre St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

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