Horizons works to help address the migrant crisis 

The family homelessness crisis has intensified in the last year and the state has partnered with leading experts across Massachusetts to identify opportunities and deliver services to families in creative ways. Horizons is one of the partners expanding services to meet the needs of the very youngest children who are not yet old enough to benefit from the resources available in the K-12 school system. 

Recognizing the quickly evolving shelter situation, Horizons for Homeless Children has opened new Playspaces in 8 motel-based Family Shelters across the state. 

Children need safe and dedicated spaces to work through the trauma associated with homelessness. In a trauma-informed Playspace, young children can take part in a vital aspect of childhood—play—that is not guaranteed for those experiencing homelessness. Playing within trauma-informed environments helps children build resilience and supports their coping and healing.

Due to the growing number of children and families living at these shelters, Horizons has been piloting an alternative Playspace model in some spaces. For example, the team is running staff-led open play shifts to enhance parent-child opportunities for play. In this model, children attend Playspace with their parents and the support of Horizons staff.    

Horizons plans to roll out traditional volunteer led Playspace shifts in these sites as new volunteers are trained and placed. If you are interested in volunteering, visit our Playspace page to learn more and apply. Shift days will be determined by overall volunteer availability. Please reach out to Megan Nally, Volunteer Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator, with any questions.