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There are over 4,000 students experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Waking up each day in a car, shelter, motel room, or an overcrowded room at a friend's apartment.
These children are more likely to have health and behavior problems that impact their ability to learn.
The mission of A Child's Place is to erase the impact homelessness on children and their education.
In schools at high risk for homelessness, we are onsite to provide case-management for children and their caregivers.
In the community, we provide after-school programming and services for children staying in a local shelter,
And work with housing agencies to help our families find a safe and permanent space to call home.
We know we can't do this alone.
We invite you to join us in our mission.
With your support, our children and families will continue to grow stronger
And embrace the power of education to improve their lives.
The mission of A Child's Place is to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. We are the only nonprofit in Charlotte designed specifically on the success of children, whose families are experiencing homelessness. Families come to A Child's Place after they have lost their home, living in emergency shelters, cars, with friends or family not by choice, or motels, all located in neighborhoods left out of the economic prosperity of our city; often marked by segregation, poverty, and high rates of eviction and foreclosure.
The dire conditions that homeless students experience put them at greater risk for severe health and emotional challenges, which drastically impact their ability to learn. Our team is made up of experts serving as a voice for homeless students in schools and the community. The foundation of A Child's Place is to transform the life of a child experiencing homelessness and change the trajectory for the family; breaking the cycle of homelessness to help build a community where children have access to housing, engage in healthy supportive relationships, and succeed in school.
Because we know that the stress of homelessness and instability produce long-term health and well-being consequences over the life course, A Child's Place works to improve conditions impacting the educational focus of homeless students. We do this by creating a coordinated strategy for both children and parents in order to sustain positive change for the whole family:
In schools where students are at high risk for experiencing homelessness, we deploy Social Workers and Student Advocates to work on site to intervene at the point of a housing crisis; quickly connect families to needed resources and services; and implement ongoing case-management through individualized plans for the academic year.
In the Community, we facilitate after-school programming at a family shelter. We implement evidence-informed activities designed to build social and emotional skills that will help children cope with stress, anxiety, trauma and social pressures as result of their housing crisis. We also partner with local housing agencies to identify housing for our families and provide long-term case-management that will continue to address underlying effects of homelessness - equipping families with the support systems, skills, and knowledge of resources to sustain a safe, affordable, and permanent home.
A Child's Place began in 1989 when a group of women were walking through Uptown Charlotte and noticed children playing during school hours. When asked why they were not in school, the children explained that they were not allowed to enroll in school without a permanent address. The women began a school for 27 homeless children in a room provided by First Presbyterian Church with a teacher from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and called it A Child's Place. Soon after, Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Act protecting the educational rights of homeless children and A Child's Place shifted to supporting homeless children in public schools.
Family homelessness has remained a prevailing problem in the Charlotte region and we have since recognized that staying behind school doors isn't always enough. In response, we launched an additional approach to fighting child and family homelessness that extends beyond the school grounds and reaches out into the community; collaborating with other nonprofits and community organizations to increase our capacity to effectively address the complex needs of homelessness and discover lasting solutions.