It’s summertime! Kids are out of school, families are taking trips together, and the weather is gorgeous. But this time of year can be especially tough on vulnerable families in our community, as school is out and summer programs are becoming more rare due to budget cuts. The number of families losing their jobs, and losing their homes to foreclosure, is growing. There are more vulnerable families than ever before. According to a recent statewide poll conducted by UCLA and the University of California, the recession is taking a major toll on California’s families, especially children:
- One in four California students is living in poverty (one in six before the recession began).
- Many counties are facing deep hunger — many students don’t have food to eat when they go home.
- Homelessness among students is growing (according to a report by the Western Center on Law and Poverty, more than 288,000 California children were homeless and attending school during the 2008-2009 school year — a 27% increase over the year before).
Homeless mothers and their children come to Shepherd’s Gate with many needs — food, shelter, and a safe place to heal from homelessness or abuse. These needs don’t take a break over the summer, and neither do we! We deeply appreciate your prayers, your gifts, and the many hours you give as volunteers here at Shepherd’s Gate. Thanks to you, we’ll continue to care for precious women and children during these hot summer months.
Steve McRee Executive Director, Shepherd’s Gate