Horizons for Homeless Children opens new Playspace in partnership with Lazarus House Ministries and It Kicks! Foundation to meet the needs of children and families experiencing homelessness
For immediate release
Lawrence, MA – July 19, 2023 – Lazarus House Ministries, one of the largest providers of food, clothing and shelter in the Merrimack Valley, in conjunction with Horizons for Homeless Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children experiencing homelessness and their families, celebrated the re-opening of the Horizons Playspace for children at the Lazarus House Emergency Shelter located in Lawrence, MA. This newly renovated Playspace would not be possible without the very generous financial grant made by the It Kicks! Foundation in Lawrence. Energy North established the It Kicks! Foundation after years of supporting many charitable organizations throughout the region. This newly renovated Playspace is designed so that children can build social skills and relationships while doing what children do best – have fun.
The newly renovated Playspace will be available for use by children and their families within the Lazarus House Emergency Shelter. Playspaces are specially designed playrooms created to meet the needs of children who are experiencing the trauma of homelessness where they can play, grow, and build connections with other caring adults who are committed to their success.
The reopening was held on Wednesday, July 19 at Lazarus House Emergency Shelter with brief remarks and a ribbon cutting. Lazarus House, Horizons for Homeless Children, It Kicks! Foundation, along with Representative Frank Moran, and staff from the organizations were in attendance.
“All of us here at Lazarus House Ministries are honored and so very grateful to It Kicks! Foundation for starting their new pilot program here with us,” said Almarie Silverman, Director of Advocacy at Lazarus House. “Horizons for Homeless Children has helped create a wonderful, nurturing environment for all at our shelter.”
“We envision this Playspace as a testament to the dreams sparked, friendships forged, and the remarkable resilience of children. All made possible through the unwavering support and unity of our community coming together,” said Kristina Wood, Executive Director of the It Kicks! Foundation.
“Horizons has long played a role in helping families with young children living in shelters by recognizing that this critical time in brain development can and should be supported with opportunities for play,” said Horizons for Homeless Children’s Chief of Staff, Brendan Fogarty. “When social service agencies partner with philanthropic companies, communities stand to benefit in lasting ways. The opening of this Playspace is poised to benefit some of Lawrence’s most vulnerable families.”
Horizons recruits and trains dedicated volunteers to staff Playspaces in more than 55 shelters across Massachusetts and is currently recruiting to fill open spaces in this new shelter. Community members are invited to support this effort by becoming a regular volunteer in this or other nearby shelters.
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 shelter. For more information about Horizons for Homeless Children, please visit: www.horizonschildren.org.
About Lazarus House Ministries
Lazarus House Ministries has been serving our guests in the Merrimack Valley from its base in Lawrence, Massachusetts, for 40 years. Our core services center around the evolving needs of families who remain challenged in this turbulent economy. Our services are based on five pillars which include Food, Clothing, Shelter, Advocacy and Community Outreach. Lazarus House assists women and children in an acute and transitional state with the dignity and respect they deserve in order for them to once again provide for themselves on a permanent basis. Emergency and transitional housing programs provide a place for homeless families and individuals to live, stabilize, learn and grow. For more information about Lazarus House Ministries, please visit: https://lazarushouse.org/
About the It Kicks! Foundation
The It Kicks! Foundation provides grants to nonprofits that focus on supporting youth development and educational opportunities for people of all ages. The Foundation serves communities within Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. For more information about the It Kicks! Foundation, please visit: https://itkicksfoundation.org/
Communications Director, Horizons for Homeless Children