We are stronger together.
This summer marks the anniversary of Horizons for Homeless Children celebrating a full year together as an organization in the Edgerley Family Horizons Center. Children spent their school days in state-of-the-art classrooms, exploring science and technology, reading books across 9 languages, and having plenty of playtime out on the playgrounds. Their parents engaged in workshops, connected with their family advocates to set and achieve goals, and received other on-site services including mental health support and financial planning.
This work would not have been possible without the support of our community and we are excited to share some of the significant impacts we’ve made this year.
An Investment in our People:
- We took bold steps to invest in Horizons’ workforce through salary equity adjustments for early childhood educators, underscoring our commitment to our workforce.
- Horizons’ staff received additional training in Trauma-Informed Care for the children and families we serve thanks to a grant from the Commonwealth Corporation’s Workforce Training Program.
- Many of Horizons’ employees also completed English as a Second Language training, an investment in their skills and competencies.
- Horizons also brought resources in-house to support the mental health needs of our teachers and all staff with a dedicated counselor available during work hours.
A focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
- Leaders recognized a collective responsibility to address inequities and serve Horizons’ families, employees, and the broader community. A DEI committee was formed, and the board published a commitment statement to address accountability of this work.
- Employee Resource Groups continued to celebrate diversity within the organization through organized events, potlucks, discussions, and engaging meetings with leadership.
- The Family Health Clinic opened at the Edgerley Family Horizons Center in partnership with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless to offer physical and behavioral health services on-site to both children and their parents.
- We began a partnership with a leading shelter provider, FamilyAid, to jointly case manage and support families as their children began their Horizons journey in two new classrooms.
- We also formed a new partnership with Boston Children’s Museum to hold playgroups in homeless shelters throughout the city.
Enhancing our Curriculum:
- Our STEM curriculum deepened in the STEM lab, where students learned coding with KIBO robots, and other 21st century skills through the Museum of Science’s Wee Engineering program.
- We expanded our Boston Public Schools’ Universal Pre-K program by adding an additional UPK classroom, strengthening our curriculum to better prepare more children for future academic success by aligning with the BPS curriculum and easing the transition to kindergarten.
- Our early education center continues to provide nutritional breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks each day to our students, with over 80,000 meals provided.
- Horizons was listed as one of the best places to volunteer by Boston.com, as our Playspace program continues to expand, train, and welcome PALs to play with children in shelters throughout the state.
- We also resumed corporate volunteer opportunities including Playspace Shines and field trips for organizations looking to give back and make an impact across Massachusetts.
- Our Playspace Program continues to expand and enhance offerings including bi-lingual programming, parent workshops, and opportunities for both children and families to connect with their peers.
- Horizons’ advocates raised their voices to legislators and helped pass a budget for the Fiscal Year 2023 that includes historic funding expansions for the early education and care sector, as well as vital funding increases for Horizons’ operations.
These accomplishments show what we know, that together with the support of our community we are stronger than ever. We are so grateful for your continued investment in our organization and the impact we’re making in the lives of children and families facing homelessness in our community.