Community Service-LEarning internship

Social issue(s): Homelessness, Early Education, Hunger, Housing, Access to Play, Childcare, Poverty, Trauma, Substance Use Disorder, Domestic Violence.

Our Mission:  Horizons for Homeless Children hopes to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and help their families succeed by providing high-quality early education, opportunities for play, and comprehensive family support services. 

Playspace Program: 
Horizons for Homeless Children created the Playspace Program with the belief that play is essential to healthy childhood development, and that every child has the right to play. 
To make healthy play possible for children living in homeless shelters in Massachusetts, regional staff build and maintain developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed, “kid-friendly” spaces and stock them with books, toys, games, and arts materials. Playspaces provide the opportunity for children to have a safe place to play, use their imaginations, heal from trauma, and just have fun. 

Service-Learning Internship:
We are looking to recruit passionate and motivated  students to provide onsite support to children and volunteers in our Playspaces, located in various shelters across MA. They will join our Playspace Activity Leaders (PALs) twice a week for 3-hour Playspace shifts. If needed, Horizons staff will work with academic partners to meet specific internship course requirements. 

 Main Tasks & Responsibilities: 

  • Engage children ages 0-6 in meaningful, developmentally appropriate play experiences to help mitigate the stress and trauma associated with childhood homelessness 
  • Maintain a clean, safe, trauma-informed environment for children 
  • Work with other PALs during the shift to meet the needs of the children as a team. 
  • Provide feedback to the Horizons staff about your volunteer experience.  

Qualifications & Skills: 

  • Experience with children ages 0-6 preferred 
  • Comfort in a group setting with people of all ages 
  • Flexibility and respect for people from diverse backgrounds and cultures 


Other Requirements:  

In order to be considered for the position, students MUST: 

  • Have access to reliable transportation; 
  • Pass a CORI and SORI background check 
  • Attend a 1.5 hour, virtual Playspace Activity Leader training 
  • Have evening availability twice a week Monday-Thursday and/or some daytime availability  
  • Provide at least 2 references  

For more information about our internship opportunities, please contact Alec Van Dyke at 617-553-5485 or email us at