Playtime for young children isn’t just about toys and games – it can be an essential way for them to express their feelings and process their world.

Sophie, a bright-eyed 3-year-old, recently joined Horizons’ toddler classroom. She’s mostly non-verbal, but as Natalia, her compassionate teacher shared, “She speaks volumes with her play”.

One day while quietly humming to herself, Sophie arranged the classroom dollhouse as Natalia observed. When the last doll was in place, Sophie’s mood shifted. With a sudden fierceness, she shouted “OUT! OUT! OUT!” The dolls and furniture crashed to the ground, mirroring the confusing and devastating experience she recently endured.

Sophie is processing her family’s eviction through this heartbreaking reenactment. The trauma she has absorbed at such a young age could derail her growth and development if left unaddressed.

But Sophie isn’t alone.

From day one, Horizons for Homeless Children has been at her side, working with her to cope, adapt, and flourish, despite the odds. With a holistic approach, including mental health support and trauma-informed education, we’re helping Sophie move beyond the hardships she faced so early in life. And while Sophie is nurtured in our care, her mother is collaborating with a dedicated Family Advocate, charting a roadmap to financial stability and a safe home.

This story is only one of many across Massachusetts with soaring demand for emergency housing. As statewide shelters reach capacity, families facing homelessness are pushed into hotels, dormitories, and other emergency lodgings with limited resources. The fragile ecosystem of our shelter system is bursting at its seams.

The escalating crisis underscores the urgency of our mission.

We humbly seek your support. Your donation make an impact across our community, providing childcare, nutrition, and quality education – from literacy to STEM – to children like Sophie. With your help, we aim to create more Playspaces in emergency shelters, giving every child a safe place to process through play. Together, we can guide parents towards a brighter, more stable future, breaking the cruel cycle of homelessness.

Please stand with us and the young children and families who need us during this pivotal moment.