Horizons for Homeless Children Playspace in Worcester Re-opens
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for morning shifts to help young children experiencing homelessness to learn through play
Worcester, Mass.—October 18 2023—Horizons for Homeless Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children experiencing homelessness and their families, today announced that its third Playspace in Worcester has reopened. Since the end of the COVID-19 crisis, Horizons has reopened more than 50 Playspaces across Massachusetts. Morning volunteer shifts at the newest Worcester Playspace are now available.
The state is currently housing more than 6,300 homeless families in shelters, hotels and motels. As the number of homeless families in Massachusetts continues to grow, providing safe and dedicated spaces for the youngest children not yet ready for the K-12 school system is paramount, as these spaces allow young children to work through the trauma associated with homelessness. Horizons has been bringing play to children living in homeless shelters since the organization was founded in 1988, with a deep understanding of the lasting impact toxic stress and instability can have on developing children. These Playspaces, which are trauma-informed, allow young children experiencing homelessness to take part in a vital aspect of childhood.
“We’re honored to create a safe space for young children throughout the greater Worcester area,” said Lynne Gaines, Director of the Playspace Program at Horizons for Homeless Children. “Giving kids the opportunity to express themselves, build relationships and do what each child should be able to do—play—is incredibly important.”
As Playspaces reopen, new volunteer positions are available. Shifts are two hours once a week, and all volunteers receive training, ongoing support and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and families in their communities.
“Participating as a volunteer has given me the chance to give back to the community,” said Robin Hauck, a Playspace Activity Leader (PAL). “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the kids who come to the Playspace while helping them draw, read and connect with other children and adults.”
About Horizons for Homeless Children
Horizons for Homeless Children is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young homeless children and their families. Horizons provides high–quality early education, comprehensive family support services and opportunities for play to children living in shelters. For more information about Horizons for Homeless Children, please visit: www.horizonschildren.org.