The numbers are telling. A recent city count in Boston revealed that right now, 9,000 people in families are homeless and two-thirds are children. Only a small percentage of families are in shelters, meaning the majority are couch surfing, doubling up in small apartments, or even living in their cars.
The uncertainty of not having a home causes trauma in young children—kids like 4-year-old Caleb. We work to address that trauma every day at Horizons for Homeless Children with the support of our community.
Since coming to Horizons last fall, Caleb has been unable to nap due to the instability of his home life. “His mat is a trigger,” explains his teacher, Claudia. “He doesn’t feel safe sleeping. We’ve had many conversations with Caleb about this. We listened, we heard, and together we strategized about how to handle nap time.” Claudia explains that Caleb has gradually come to be able to sit on his mat, use his sensory tools, and relax his body without napping.
And then, last week, Caleb fell asleep on his mat for the first time. Needless to say, Claudia was thrilled. “This shows he feels safe and secure in the classroom now. It’s a huge step!”
Building trust like this takes skilled early childhood educators and a trauma-informed approach to caring for children. It takes special toys and sensory tools that children can use to soothe themselves. And it takes the partnership of our community to fund this critical work.
As we approach the end of our fiscal year, will you help us continue our work with children like Caleb through a gift?