Will you help us serve more children in need?
It’s a struggle being homeless in normal times; COVID only made that struggle much, much worse. Many parents lost their jobs—in fact, nearly 50% of Horizons’ families reported earning less than $10,000 last year. And Massachusetts had one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country at one point in the pandemic.
We see the pandemic’s negative effects every day on families like Larisa and her daughter, Mari. Larisa had been working as a receptionist at a nail salon, saving up so that she and 3-year-old Mari could move out of a shelter and into an apartment. But the salon shuttered during COVID. Larisa lost her job and spent all her savings on food and necessities. Confined to one small room at the shelter, Mari struggled. This once bubbly little girl experienced anxiety, became easily frustrated, and regressed in her verbal skills.
When Horizons was able to resume in-person operations last summer, Larisa and Mari were thrilled to return to the stability of routine, teachers, and counselors. Access to high-quality early education and mental health services helped Mari gain confidence and progress in her language skills. Larisa, meanwhile, is working with her Horizons Family Advocate to get on track with her career and financial goals. She recently started a new job in a medical office and wants to start saving money again. Larisa has also recently opted in to Horizons’ new food program, and is receiving access to food and fresh produce.
While we’re excited for Larisa and Mari and the progress they’re making, the reality is that we’re now serving 30% more children. We’ve added five classrooms to accommodate the expanding numbers of homeless families. And it takes much more than space to meet our families’ needs. It takes skilled early educators, mental health clinicians, and family advocates—services we can only provide with support from donors like you.
Can you help by making a gift today? Your generosity will go a long way in lifting up vulnerable families at this challenging time. On behalf of Larisa, Mari, and all the families we work with at Horizons, thank you for your support!