Homeless Solutions Healthy Children Initiative
When you think about the summer months, what comes to mind? Trips to the beach, freedom from school and homework, back yard barbeques, and vacations are what many of us think about.
For our homeless families, planning for the summer months can be full of stress and worry as they think about how to maintain their jobs while also finding quality, affordable care for their children.
During the school year, our families send their children to school each morning with the peace of mind of knowing that their child is guaranteed to have a nutritious lunch (some schools have even expanded into a breakfast program) and structured physical activities. The school year enables our parents to work hard, save money, and accomplish their ultimate goal — overcoming homelessness.
Once the school year ends, we see parents frantically searching for ways to provide those same necessities to their children. If a parent stays home from work in order to look after their children, we see significant setbacks in a family’s ability to leave our shelter services with permanent housing.
On the other hand, many working parents have no choice but to leave their children in unsafe settings, never really being able to ensure that their children are supervised, well fed, and active during their workdays.
Summer camp has been pivotal in both allowing parents to continue working towards their goals, and providing their children with nutritious meals, physical activities, and development of social skills all summer long. The chance to go to summer camp is something every child dreams about. However, for many of our homeless families, being able to afford summer camp makes it an unattainable dream. That is where we are striving to help make that dream a reality for more and more of our children.
We will soon share several stories of our campers who have been able to experience the joys of just being a kid in the summer. Camp not only meets the everyday needs of nutrition and physical activity, but has also proven time and time again to be transformational in the development of social skills and a sense of self-confidence!
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 lives.