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.
"They helped me realize that grief is a process to work through. There is no time limit and they will always be there with open arms when or if my grief overcomes me again." -Anonymous
Team members at Caring Circle (previously Hospice at Home) began researching successful programs for children and teens in the fall of 2002. One pioneer program in Portland, Oregon, continued to prove as a successful model in supporting those in their grief. 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 this program, including Lory's Place.
Lory’s Place is a Dougy Center model, which has been shown, overtime, to be an effective intervention preventing many of the emotional problems associated with unresolved grief. Although Lory’s Place is the first program in Michigan using this model, many of the organizations, such as Ele’s Place in Lansing and Erin’s House in Fort Wayne, Indiana, have adopted many of these principles.
Lory’s Place is named for Dr. Lory Schults, a St. Joseph podiatrist who died in a traffic accident in January of 2004. While helping Lory’s husband Ron and two small children to deal with their loss, Lisa Bartoszek, Director of Lory's Place 2004 - 2017, expressed to Ron her desire to start a center based on the principals of 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. With Ron’s support and the overwhelming response by the community to Lory’s death, the new program was named 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.