Imagine being a child, doing all of the things that children enjoy ─ going to school, making friends, playing in the schoolyard ─ but with one big difference: you have no place to call home. Sounds like an incredibly sad situation, doesn’t it? Well, that is the reality for thousands of children and youths across the country. In Detroit alone, there are an estimated 3,540 homeless students. Across the state of Michigan about 20,000 students are homeless, according to the state Department of Education. I have to believe there are even more children out there whose parents are ashamed to report to the school system that they are homeless.
Homeless children’s lives are constantly uprooted, moving from school to school and from shelter to shelter. It affects them emotionally, socially and academically. There are a variety of factors that can propel a family into homelessness. Poverty resulting from job loss, home foreclosures, medical issues or low wages are some of the main reasons. At the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we provide help and hope for parents and children who have found themselves homeless. We give them shelter, food, clothing, job training, transitional and permanent housing, school supplies and much more. All of the things they need to get back on their feet.
But what happens to the children? They are innocent victims of circumstance. They didn’t contribute to the situation nor can they change the situation. Their youth must not be wasted away on negative images, thoughts and conditions. That’s why DRMM provides recreational activities, educational support, substance abuse prevention programs and summer camp opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth.
Make it your mission to help reduce homelessness in this country. Volunteer. Donate. Pray. Because no child should be without a home.