In recent years, Pittsburgh has celebrated a renaissance of sorts, garnering national attention for its redevelopment after a period of economic stagnation. In the face of lean years resulting from the collapse of the steel industry, Pittsburgh has rebounded, with an economy based in learning and healing, and an approach that aims to keep the region resilient, even when things go wrong.
In a way, the city’s story is parallel to what we do every day at Familylinks. We work with your friends, neighbors and loved ones when they’re at a low point — dealing with challenges like addiction, family conflict or mental health issues. We strive to help them rebuild, offering tools that they might not otherwise have access to. The people we help have something to offer as well: Incredible courage and strength in the face of trauma, and often long odds.
Familylinks has a long history of service, stretching back to the founding of our predecessors, the Parent & Child Guidance Center (1956) and The Whale’s Tale (1970). But we’re constantly updating our approach to better serve the vulnerable populations we work with. In 2015, we implemented Risking Connection, a trauma-informed model of care, throughout the agency. All Familylinks staff now have a better grasp of how trauma informs the lives of our clients — and everyone else we work with on a regular basis. Every member of our staff also receives training on the particular needs of LGBTQ clients, and the importance of accommodating people of all sexualities, gender identities and expressions.
Familylinks exists to help family members of all ages, from a very young child who needs specialized schooling at our Therapeutic Learning Center, to an older adult looking for health tips and leisure activities through our affiliate, Vintage, Inc. We work with our neighbors who in many cases have run out of options: the pregnant woman who’s addicted to heroin and needs immediate help, and the teen who’s been kicked out of the house and has nowhere to stay.
As Pittsburgh continues to make its big comeback, Familylinks is committed to helping our friends, neighbors and loved ones to make theirs. For each individual and family whose life improves in some way – through education, conflict resolution, counseling, recovery, housing – our region can say with a little more certainty that western Pennsylvania is strong. For life.
Frederick A. Massey, Jr.
President & CEO, Familylinks, Inc.