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H.O.M.E. A place of their own

Posted on 10/23/2007 6:00:24 PM

Leaves aren’t the only things changing this fall as the Early Childhood Center at the Center for the Homeless kicked off two new programs this year! P.A.T, (Parents As Teachers) and H.O.M.E, (Helping Our Moms Excel).

Parents as Teachers is the overarching program philosophy of providing parents with child development knowledge and parenting support.

Our mission is to provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.

Our goals are to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices, to provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, to prevent child abuse and neglect and increase children's school readiness and school success.

Therefore, these are our

Core Values:

· The early years of a child's life are critical for optimal development and provide the foundation for success in school and in life.

· Parents are their children's first and most influential teachers.

Established and emerging research

· should be the foundation of parent education and family support curricula, training, materials and services.

· All young children and their families deserve the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations.

· An understanding and appreciation of the history and traditions of diverse cultures is essential in serving families.

Moms spend 4 days out of the week as P.A.T Participants.

Our second program to make it’s debut in the ECC is H.O.M.E which stands for Helping Our Moms Excel. While enrolled in the H.O.M.E program, moms are given the opportunity to spend one day out of the week with their children in a classroom designed to simulate life in a small efficiency apartment! They are responsible for all house cleaning & meal preparation as well as completing a daily task sheet that challenges them to work on specific goals that they have set for themselves. Some of these have included learning to cook, bonding as a new custodial parent and learning to maintain a household. It’s a great escape from family dorm life for these moms and a great chance to just be a mom!

"It's Great to Be Seen"

Posted on 10/5/2007 11:14:59 AM

I get calls all the time from folks that talk about the visible problem of homelessness we have
downtown. People say that there are more and more homeless men and women just hanging
out for all the public to see. This, they say, is a problem that we want to see less of.

Tonight I ran into one of our guests that I haven't seen in a while. He has been away from our facility and has now returned with great passion and focus on his future. When I saw him I said how great it was to see him. He looked at me and said, "it's great to be seen".

These five words 'it's great to be seen' are powerful words and can change someone's life. In the book The Missing Class authors Newman and Tan Chen talk about an invisible group of nearly fifty-seven million Americans that get overlooked because they are 'nearly poor'. This group includes twenty one percent of our nation's children.

When I reflect on what I heard in our hallway this evening, I recognize the enormous impact of being seen. We can't look the other way and imagine that this problem of homelessness and poverty doesn't exist. With so many funding cuts at local, state and federal levels, we as a nation simply aren't seeing the problems, or we are choosing to look the other way.

It seems to me that we may have to start looking at those fifty seven million people one at a time and do something about it.

Because from what I am told, "it's great to be seen."