This Summer Camp Gives Homeless Kids A Chance To Enjoy Life
Every kid looks forward to summer! Well, not if you are homeless. The 23,000 children that are homeless in New York City don't have school to turn to so the shelters become more crowded. These children are left with little to do with their time, unlike the millions of other children we can enjoy their summer.
Homes for the Homeless, a New York-based nonprofit, offers an alternative for over 500 homeless children each summer. Since 1989 they have brought hundreds of children each summer for three 16-day sleepaway camp sessions at Harriman State Park in upstate New York. At HFH's Camps Lanowa and Wakonda, the children, ages 6-13, are assigned a bunk in a cabin and take part in swimming, volleyball, beadwork, dancing, drama, fishing, singing and hiking. There are also activities such as journal writing that give them an educational fill, too.
“It provides kids with a break from shelter life and helps combat summer learning loss," Sarah Herold, previous program coordinator said. “We give the kid a break by sending them into the natural world and it gives the parents a reprieve because living in a shelter can be a stressful situation. For them to know that their child is in a safe space really allows them to relax."
This warms my heart. With all the stress in their every day life, these children now have a chance to just be kids!