Homeless Solutions Healthy Children Initiative
For many of the children living at our Emergency Shelter, summer camp provides a multitude of “firsts.” Many summer camps are supplemented with adventurous field trips throughout the 10 weeks of summer. Often, these trips are to athletic facilities, where children are introduced to new and exciting physical activities.
Unfortunately, these are experiences that many of our children miss due to extreme financial burden. We have heard many instances of a child having to sit out a field trip or birthday party because the parent simply cannot afford the fees associated with these activities. That is why funding for summer camp is crucial.
With it, our children are given the chance to get out of our dormitory style shelter, where they would otherwise spend the summer without any physical activity. Funding these summer camp experiences can dramatically change a child’s life. Field trips like these allow our children to get out and encounter new experiences such as batting cages, trampoline parks, water sports, and so much more!
Last week, one of our first graders, Jess* experienced the thrill of doing gymnastics at a local gymnastics studio during a weekly field trip. She returned to the shelter, and could not stop talking about all that she learned and how proud she was of herself for trying something new.
For the first time in her life, she learned what a cartwheel was, and even successfully completed one! Her confidence is growing daily – recently, she was seen outside on the shelter lawn practicing her new cartwheel skills.
Jess is encountering new experiences almost daily. When asked about her day, every day at camp seems to be “the best day ever.” A day at the gymnastics studio may seem so small, but to her it means the world. This girl has grown up never knowing what a safe and stable home life can be, witnessing things that no child should ever see. Now, she is seeing what it is to be a child — having fun and building self-confidence that will last a lifetime.
*name has been changed to protect the identity of the child.
About the Grantee
Our mission is “to offer shelter, social services and supportive housing to homeless and low-income people.” We make that an everyday reality through a strategically-designed architecture of housing options -- Emergency Shelter (short term), Transitional Housing (intermediate), and Affordable Housing (long term) – that combined with supportive services, help move people to better, healthier lives