Homeless Solutions Healthy Children Initiative
“What did you do this summer?” is such a common and seemingly mundane question that all kids and teachers ask when returning to school in September. Most kids jump at the chance to describe exciting vacations to amusement parks, where they rode the world’s tallest roller coaster. (Or, so it seemed.) Others describe the relaxing vacation on the beach, paired with catching waves and walking up and down the boardwalk.
For a child living at a homeless shelter, this question can provoke a variety of emotions and fears. For some, asking what they did all summer can be embarrassing, as their parents can’t afford a trip to an amusement park or beach. Summer camps and vacations cost a lot of money — something many of the parents simply don’t have. The result is many children living in our shelter miss out on all of the fun and opportunities that summertime has to offer. That is why a summer camp experience is so crucial for our children. Not only does it keep them occupied and learning all summer, but they are able to go back to school without feeling like they missed out on opportunities.
This year, however, our children are going back to school with stories of summer camp activities and experiences that they didn’t have to miss out on! Nine of our children will get to describe in great detail their two weeks at sleepaway camp. They will share stories of horseback riding, rock climbing, sleeping in the wilderness, and s’mores by the campfire. Our day campers will talk about all of the field trips they went on at the end of each week, and reminisce about ice cream Wednesdays. Our children are going back to school with newly acquired social skills, and the confidence to be able to let their classmates know all about their camping experiences.
Because summer is a time for making memories, and now our kids have a ton of them.
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