Thank you for your compassion this past year
Compassion inspires hope and joy. Thank you for your compassionate support in 2021, which helped Horizons’ children and families rise above the challenges of the past year with remarkable resilience. In the face of adversity, our families, staff, and community still found many reasons for joy and celebration. As we look forward to a new year and the important work before us, we reflect on all the strides we’ve made together thanks in large part to your ongoing support.
Here are some of our accomplishments in 2021:
- The new Edgerley Family Horizons Center opened its doors, expanding our services to 30% more children and families experiencing homelessness. This dynamic learning environment for our children also serves as a source of support and inspiration to our families.
- Our Education Managers participated in a professional development program with UMass focused on building leadership skills to drive child outcomes in the classroom.
- Our Family Advocates – with their unending commitment to fostering growth in families – worked to identify and address critical needs of parents from basics like clothes and diapers to emergency funding for families in crisis. Sixty-seven percent of our families reported earning less than $20,000 a year. Now more than 150 families are enrolled in Mobility Mentoring®, working toward financial independence, stable housing, and sustainable career goals.
- We provided over 65,000 meals to children through breakfast, lunch, and nutritional snacks. Children in our program also have access to mental health support critical for kids experiencing increased trauma and anxiety during the pandemic.
- We continued to bring our work to shelters across the state, introducing a new series of parent workshops through our Playspace Program. These workshops help parents living in shelter connect with other moms and dads as they enhance their relationships with their children through play, communication, and stability.
- We welcomed a Family Health Clinic onsite to serve our parents and children, working with our partners at Boston Health Care for the Homeless. Our families will now have direct access to pediatric, maternal, and behavioral health care. We also deepened our partnership with Neighborhood Villages (who offered us early access to COVID testing) and welcomed new colleagues to support operations and family relationships.
- We established new partnerships with the Museum of Science and the Eliot Pearson School at Tufts, expanding our STEM program with the intentional introduction of 21st century skills in problem solving and coding in our new on-site STEM lab. This included monthly Family Fun Days, where children explored hands-on STEM activities on subjects such as dinosaurs, magnets, lights and shadows.
- We followed the leadership of our Board of Directors as they formalized their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at a deeper level and all staff participated in DEI training as Horizons continues our work to foster a healthy and equitable environment for all. Our Employee Resource Groups built a stronger sense of community and shared aspects of their cultures, identities, and human experiences to support becoming a more inclusive organization.
- We established a policy agenda to guide our state-wide advocacy efforts, which underscore our commitment to funding early education and educators working in the field.
This critical work could not be done without your compassion and ongoing support. As we look forward toward 2022, we are deeply grateful to have you as part of our community.
The team at Horizons for Homeless Children