Last month, I explained some of the major challenges homeless children face in school. It’s not a small problem, and the solutions aren’t always easy. But there is good news. The University of Minnesota studied homeless children who were succeeding academically despite huge challenges, and they found the following practices in common:
- Parents were close to their children and involved in their education;
- Children had good relationships with teachers in special support programs;
- One-on-one relationships with tutors; and
- Strong connections with competent, caring adults.
We know the above things can happen when parents are given the support they need to become good caregivers. This is what that supporters looks like (and it’s where Shepherd’s Gate and our many wonderful friends come in):
- Families receive long-term supportive housing;
- Parents receive drug and alcohol treatment and sobriety support programs;
- Parenting education and support programming for parents who did not have a supportive childhood;
- After-school tutoring and academic support programs; and
- Good nutrition and medical care.
Thanks to you, the children of Shepherd’s Gate and their mothers are getting the support they need to avoid becoming another sad statistic of homelessness. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as these children get the help they need to thrive in school. You’re making a huge difference! Did you ever struggle in school? Did a caring adult step in to help you learn? Please share your stories with us — we’d love to hear about the people who made a difference in your life.
Steve McRee Executive Director, Shepherd’s Gate