What’s So Hard about Hope?

By A Home Within | December 24, 2016

Our sense of optimism and the capacity to hope are rooted in the first months of life. When infants are fed when they are hungry, comforted when they are distressed, changed when they are wet or soiled, gently rocked to sleep when they are tired, and greeted with a smile when they awaken, they learn…

When We Look Away

By Toni Heineman | July 29, 2016

by Toni Heineman Monday morning brought news of another mass shooting. I was startled when I realized that I had silently sighed, “Well, only two dead this time.” Only two real people—teenagers with families, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and scores of people who will never have a chance to know them—gone forever, for reasons that…

Continuing Confusion

By A Home Within | June 20, 2016

People have some strange ideas about sex and gender. Let’s take the current contention over who gets to use what bathroom. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, here’s a quick recap. In March of 2015, North Carolina passed House Bill 2 (HB2), which requires anyone using a public bathroom…

Different AND Same

By Toni Heineman | June 18, 2016

This Sunday at 2 a.m., a man walked into a packed nightclub carrying a rifle and a pistol. He killed 49 people and injured 53 others. His victims were primarily gay Latino men; it was “Latin Night” at the gay club, Pulse. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and it was targeted…

Mental Health Month

By A Home Within | May 10, 2016

Last month, settling into my seat for the flight home from a conference, the young man seated next to me briefly recounted the many delays he’d endured in trying to escape the cold of the lingering Midwest winter for a week on the beach with friends. When he asked about my travels I said that…

Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Toni Heineman | April 22, 2016

  Although spring officially begins near the end of March, it is often the longer days of April and the transformation of buds into blossoming trees and flowers that make us feel that spring has really arrived. It is fitting that we turn our attention to the prevention of child abuse in the spring, with…

FOSTERING ART REINCARNATED

By Toni Heineman | March 7, 2016

For eight years we ran a very successful program in San Francisco for current and former foster teens and young adults. Classes met once a week through the school year to focus on photography and creative writing. At first they met in a community center and moved from classroom to darkroom. When digital photography became…

SEX AND THE SUPER BOWL

By Toni Heineman | February 23, 2016

Among those coming for the festivities will be some whose reason for travel is not for their own pleasure but for the amusement of others. These are the young girls and boys who have been caught in the web of sex trafficking. Their presence among the fans and partygoers may not be obvious; in fact,…

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

By Toni Heineman | December 23, 2015

For better or worse, holidays highlight the unique dynamics, traditions, and culture of a family.  For many, getting together to prepare or share a meal is the centerpiece of holiday traditions. For others, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without the traditional athletic activity—whether everyone gathers in the outdoor air to play or inside, in front…

UNABLE TO SERVE

By Toni Heineman | November 11, 2015

Over two hundred retired generals and admirals have banded together to call attention to the alarming consequences of our failure to care adequately for this nation’s children. Mission: Readiness reports that 75% of the young adults who, in the past, have been the most likely to join the military are “unfit to serve” because of poor…