While more fortunate kids are planning “sleepovers” and getting ready for the new school year, last Sunday 30 children along with their parents slept on mats at our downtown Women & Family Emergency Shelter… a total of 88 people in all.
Our rooms were all full – but we were able to accommodate them on the floor. We try never to turn anyone away. With these guests, we had 388 people in this one shelter alone. Almost half of those were children eighteen and under… most of them were under twelve. I am always touched most by the children, as they are the innocent, ultimate victims of homelessness. Many of them do not know what “normal” childhood is all about.
I am comforted and joyful to add, however, that in the daytime our House of Hope children’s facility provides childcare and activities for these kids. It’s such a great place and everything seems “normal” for those inside! That’s our goal: to allow the children of the homeless families we serve to play, learn, enjoy nourishing meals and experience love like any child in a normal situation does. I love walking through the halls and hearing the sounds of laughter and happiness. These “Kids in Crisis” finally have a normal routine. The dreams of camp and school replace nightmares and fear.
But our city has a long way to go with families in need and there are so many now. The economic situation that is gripping our nation increasingly affects Houston. We see it more and more every day.
As you may know, Star of Hope reaches out to about 1,000 homeless men, women and children EVERY DAY through the combined effort of our Men’s Development Center, Transitional Living Center, New Horizons program and Women & Family Emergency Shelter.
Thank you for your support and prayers as God works through our staff to repair these broken families!