More S’mores, Please!
It seems so simple and yet it’s so profound.
Sending homeless children – those living in our Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing Program – to summer camp is, without exaggeration, Life Changing.
Summer camp for our children is more than just a good time.
All of our children suffer from the psycho-emotional and physical trauma that is homelessness. Plus, most of them have witnessed domestic violence.
The result can be psychological, emotional and behavioral problems too long to list here.
Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times. Activities like hiking, swimming, playing sports and games, singing, dancing, exploring the great outdoors, studying nature and wildlife, all give our children what they so critically need – the opportunity to have a childhood.
Along the way, they can build their self-esteem and self-image, learn teamwork and how to collaborate, develop stronger social and communication skills, and improve self-discipline.
In addition to providing wholesome and nurturing activities, sending our children to camp allows their parents (usually a single mom) to continue to work to provide for the family. While the mothers are working, going to school and taking necessary steps toward self-sufficiency and stability, they have the confidence of knowing that their children are being well cared for through meaningful and fun camping experiences.
Plus for our staff, there is nothing more rewarding than to see the excited faces and hear the endless laughter as the children step down from the bus at the end of the day.
Talk about Life Changing.
Which is why we are so grateful that Homeless Solutions’ Healthy Children Initiative is supported by funding from Atlantic Health System, as part of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.
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 construct of housing options -- Emergency Shelter (short term), Transitional Housing (intermediate), and Affordable Housing (long term) – that linked with supportive services, help move people to better, healthier lives.