CHILDREN'S SERVICES PROGRAM
Our goal is to ensure that the homeless children in our care do not grow up to become homeless adults
Most programs that serve homeless families don't focus on the children within them. We take a more holistic approach.
The statistics about homeless children are sobering.
- Are sick 4x more than children who are not
- Have 4x the rate of delayed development
- Have 3x the rate of behavioral/emotional problems
- Have 2x the rate of learning disabilities
Additionally, math and reading proficiency for homeless children in high school is just 11% and 14%, respectively. Less than 25% of them graduate.
We believe focusing on children is the most effective way to break the cycle of homelessness.
It's a two-generation approach that works.
How do we know?
Last year, 99% of the children in our care matriculated to the next grade level. Their average grade was a B-.
Our innovative approach to serving homeless children assures that every area of a child’s development is nurtured.
The Program has four distinct components:
Foundational Support We ensure that our children have the foundation they need to develop in line with or even ahead of their peers who are not homeless. This means making sure they have proper immunizations, school and daily living supplies and much more. We even arrange (and pay) for them to go to summer and spring camps so they continue learning and developing when school is not in session.
Educational Support Statistically, almost all of our children are behind academically -- often dramatically. The Director of Children's Services is an accredited teacher who has taught in several public school systems. He coordinates school placements, enrolls children in school, arranges transportation and much more.
Even after we do this, many of our children need additional support and allowances. We work with their parents and the public school system to secure IEPs and 504 accommodation plans, often worth thousands (even tens of thousands) of dollars. We also provide specialized, one-on-one tutoring in our after-school program.
Psychological/Developmental Support The trauma of homelessness on children is profound. Its impact is severe, even when unseen.
To ensure we address the psychological and developmental well-being of our children, we partner with Child Guidance Center (CGC) to ensure our children receive the clinical support they need to address any mental health, behavioral and psychological issues they have and identify barriers to development.
Parents know that the hours after school are as important as the hours in school.
Our after school Youth Center provides critical services in a safe and secure environment to children ages 5-18 during after-school hours. Each day, children in the after-school program receive:
- Tutoring help from teachers
- Homework help from volunteers
- A full nutritious meal
- Enrichment activities that cultivate lifelong learning in music, science, nature, dance, arts & crafts etc.
- A forum to talk about pressures related to living in a shelter, dating, and dangers of drugs/alcohol