Western Mass Women Magazine

'Horizons' Gives Homeless Children Opportunity to Have a Childhood

6/11/19 -In Massachusetts this year alone, there are over 16,000 homeless children under the age of six. These children are victims of unfortunate circumstances and are no different from the young children in your life. Many of these children are robbed of all sense of security and comfort at an extremely impressionable age, which can very easily leave a lasting effect on the child’s psychological state. Horizons for Homeless Children is an organization that was founded about 30 years ago, with the mission to improve the lives of homeless children within the state.

Rachel Levy, a PR agent that represents the non-profit, explains how the
organization ensures that the experience of a child living in a shelter and going
through the homelessness transition is not depicted as a defining moment in their life. “We focus on providing opportunities for children to grow, and to strive, [and] play in shelters. Because they tend to be adult-focused and really stressful environments and Horizons recognized that there wasn’t any other agency out there working to help mitigate the effects of homelessness in children.”

The organization provides its services in shelters throughout Massachusetts, and
they are unique in the sense that they are family oriented and focus as much on
bringing children out of their shells, as they do adults.

Joanna Berube, the director of the “Western Region” chapter, clarifies how the Playspace Program is at the heart of their mission. They regularly host  recruitment volunteer sessions where they orient people who are interested in becoming Playspace Activity Leaders (PALs).

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