How better to gain insight into child and teen homelessness than through the artwork and words of young people themselves?
Our local HAYC (Housing Authority of Yamhill County) participates each year in a national poster contest for children on the topic: What Home Means To Me. The 12 winners are featured in a yearly calendar that is shared with all members of Congress and many other leaders.
For the third time now, Yamhill County has had a runner-up in this contest. We offer congratulations to the winners, the other entrants, and our local HAYC. (We've also been pleased to play a small part in helping to purchase art materials needed for the posters.)
Below is a video link to the calendar for 2018. The July runner-up, Misha, age 10, from Newberg, depicts a sweet home with children in a bedroom window and a caption stating: Home is more than a structure--it is where I grow up...and grow memories. Home is where I can keep my valuables such as food and clothes. Home is where I can have fun with my family.
As you look through the calendar, you'll see that the themes of home being a place for love, safety, and hope emerge. Adelia, age 11, from Lincoln Nebraska, writes that home is not a big fancy house, but a place where your family is always there for you.
We are living in a time of urgency, when thousands of children already in this country are either homeless or living in uncertain situations, and when children trying to enter are being separated from loved ones and placed in highly unsuitable shelters.
In the past twelve years since our founding, we've been able to approve a large number of applications for temporary rental assistance or initial rental deposits from families facing eviction or seeking a stable home. This can be expensive, and we're often fortunate to share costs with one or two other nonprofits in the region that are able to fund requests for rent. Please know that your support is critical to our being able to respond. Each time you help us to keep a family from being homeless, you are also helping countless children and teens.
Thank you for reading and caring, and please leave thoughts and comments below.