Heather Faulkner, Aftercare Program Coordinator and Program Administrator, was well on her way to a career in counseling in the private sector when she had an encounter with Freedom House that would change her life. She’d been providing intensive counseling services to severely emotionally disturbed children, adolescents and their families as the street worker for the Runaway Project with Family Services, working with runaway and homeless teens; doing all the on call, crisis and family intervention, in home therapy and counseling with emotionally disturbed 5-18 year olds and their families. Her best friend, the volunteer coordinator for Freedom House, saw the terrific things she’d been doing and convinced her to start volunteering at Freedom House. It was shortly after that when she was brought on board to create and manage the Aftercare Program.
“At the time I was really wondering why, with a master’s degree, I should spend my time at a homeless shelter, but God really laid it on my heart that this is where I belonged. When I was counseling in the secular world, I felt I was just helping people find Band-Aids to their problems, the ‘solution’ would only last a couple weeks and then I’d have to mediate again. It’s different here at Freedom House,” she explained. “To be here and be able to offer real hope has been so rewarding, I love it, I love that I can use the Gospel and help people find not the temporary solution but the real solution,” she explained.
Heather has bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology from St. Norbert College as well as a master’s degree in Community Counseling from Lakeland College. She has three years experience as an in-home counselor with Family Services and is certified in suicide assessment and prevention. She has also served as a team leader for Young Life for five years, providing youth with positive activities, relationships and a deeper understanding of faith. She is married and gave birth to her first child in February 2010.