Most children will experience the death of a loved one before they complete their high school years.
Unaddressed grief has been shown to have a negative impact on the physical health and mental well-being of children. When they feel understood and accepted, children are better able to cope with their feelings.
"I am so glad that there is a place like this for me and others to come and talk about our losses."
-Tiny Mates Participant
Hospice at Home began researching successful programs for children and teens in the fall of 2002. Based on this research, children’s bereavement activities at Lory’s Place are modeled after the Dougy Center, a pioneering program in Portland, Oregon. The Dougy Center is internationally recognized as a leading force and authority in the field of childhood grief and peer support services. Over 140 similar programs around the world have been modeled after the Dougy Center.
Lory’s Place is a Dougy Center model which has been shown, over time, to be an effective intervention preventing many of the emotional problems associated with unresolved grief. Although Lory’s Place is the first Dougy Center model program in Michigan, many of the programs currently available for children, such as Ele’s Place in Lansing and Erin’s House in Fort Wayne, Indiana, adopt many of the Dougy Center principles.
Lory’s Place is named for Dr. Lory Schults, a St. Joseph podiatrist who died in a traffic accident in January, 2004. While helping Lory’s husband Ron and two small children to deal with their loss, Lisa Bartoszek, Director of Bereavement and Lory's Place, expressed to Ron her desire to start a center such as the Dougy Center. Given his very positive experiences with Hospice, Ron thought it was a wonderful idea and offered to help in whatever way he could. Given Ron’s interest and support, and the overwhelming response by the community to Lory’s death, Lisa and others with whom she worked thought it appropriate to name the new program in Lory’s memory.
Since its opening in 2004, Lory's Place has helped thousands of children, adults, and families find their way through grief to their "new normal." It has been an honor to serve this community, and to be entrusted with sharing in the grief journeys of so many.