Summer Camp for Homeless Kids

by Families Moving Forward

Genesis Home offers a variety of summer enrichment programs to help ensure that our youngest guests do not lose the progress that they have gained during the school year. This problem is not unique to homeless children but living in a shelter throughout the summer contributes to social isolation from peers as well as missed experiences of a traditional summer.

Youth out number adults at Genesis Home by 2-1 with the largest age group being our 0-5 category. The tween and teen population at Genesis Home really benefit from  Summer Camps and Youth Enrichment Activities that you help fund.

I can assure you that the parents thank you too!

Now, summer is over and school is back in session.  Thank you for funding our Summer Camp Project!  I hope that we can count on you again in 2016 when our need will be even greater as we expand our shelter space in preparation to  merge with another organization that provides care to homeless families with children. 

Our new organizational name will be Families Moving Forward.  We will keep you posted in the new year with new projects and exciting updates and stories.

 

Robin Temple, Director of Development

Percussion
Percussion

“Home Begins Here” was a special summer program for seven children living at Genesis Home. Project goals included exploring what it means to “be seen”, exploring a wide range of creative expression, gaining exposure to various artistic disciplines, using critical thinking, and creating works of art. The seven participants accomplished all the goals listed above and more during the week-long project. These young people had never participated in a week-long camp let alone an immersive artistic experience of the type provided during “Home Begins Here”. Agency staff also observed a marked increase in the confidence and self-esteem of the participants and credited this to the programming and mentoring provided by the various facilitators and special guest artists. The project made a huge difference to the seven children who participated and their parents who were able to keep attending jobs and school which would have been disrupted without the positive programming made available to their children. Research shows that children in homeless households are at risk of a variety of negative behaviors including teen pregnancy, gang involvement, and dropping out of school. Positive programming of the type provided by “Home Begins Here” creates positive self-esteem, healthy relationships with adult role models, and a sense of accomplishment in children and these outcomes were observed by both facilitators and staff during and after the project.

Thank you for helping make these special moments available for our children.

Warmest regards,

 

Robin

Genesis Home Children
Genesis Home Children

On March 28th, a team comprised of volunteers from the community, staff and board members walked the 2015 Great Human Race at Northgate Mall in Durham. It was a beautiful day with music, games and fellowship in addition to the 5K race/walk. The Genesis Home team raised $3614 to pay for summer camp and needed supplies for the children of our shelter guests. Summer is typically a time of great joy for young people as they escape the confines of the classroom until school resumes in August. The summer can be a challenge for low-income and homeless families though as camps are expensive and arrangements must be made in order for parents, usually single parents, to maintain needed employment. Jobs are crucial for anyone hoping to secure and sustain permanent housing and Genesis Home works to ensure that all of the families residing in our shelter have the opportunity to attend summer camp. Arrangements have been made with the YMCA of Durham for summer camp spots and in a matter of a few weeks, agency staff will purchase swim suits, running shoes and other necessities for the summer camp experience. Our kids are fired up and ready to go! We appreciate the support of our summer camp donors and thank each of you for making this experience possible for our young people living at Genesis Home. The Great Human Race will be run again in March of 2016 and we hope that you'll again make a gift to support this very real need for our families and children.

Students who attended speciality camps in Durham
Students who attended speciality camps in Durham

For over twenty-five years we have provided shelter and services to hundreds of families and on average have 30-35 children (with 20 school age children) living in our transitional shelter in downtown Durham. We have operated at capacity for the last five years to meet the unprecedented need resulting from the “Great Recession”. We currently house up to fifteen families at a time.

Genesis Home supports two core programs that serve homeless families with children. We provide quality transitional shelter and support for families through our original program, Family Matters. Family Matters works to increase household income, improve financial literacy, promote family health and wellness, address disabling conditions, and move families into permanent housing as quickly as possible.

Equally important is our commitment to provide enrichment for the children who live in our shelter. All school age children meet with a tutor four times a week to help keep them at or above grade level and to work on their academic strengths and weaknesses. Twice a week volunteer groups meet with our kids to provide enrichment ranging from physical activity to arts and creative pursuits.

The support of our friends in the community not only keeps Genesis Home’s doors open to families in need, but provides them with a stepping stone to a better life. Funding from the community allows our kids to experience quality cultural enrichment programs reaching all ages (0-17) and to attend a summer camp when school is not in session. These types of programs provide our kids a safe, enriched experience that helps them prepare for a brighter future.

Through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), program, Durham (NC) Links awarded scholarships for elementary, middle and high school students to participate in STEM-related summer camps. These students have participated in STEM outreach activities of the Durham Science and Everyday Experiences (SEE) program. The scholarship will support the goals of encouraging more students to pursue STEM-related disciplines in higher education and provide financial assistance opportunities for students to engage in STEM-related summer programs. Two high school students, Kamare Hardee and Menefese Kuduma-Cavell will be attending the Intro to iphone App development by Shoder Educational Foundation. During this interactive one-week camp, the students will learn the basics of mobile app development in the context of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Michkia Brooks will be attending another Shoder Camp on Forensic science for grades 6-8. This Forensic science experience emphasizes the methods of observing, gathering and analyzing physical evidence to solve mysteries and it’s a significant part of solving crimes and maintaining justice. Another recipient, Makayla Faye Grice will attend the NC Museum of Life and Sciences Engineering Lego Summer Camp experience for grades 3-5, where she will enjoy a week of building, programming, problem-solving fun, LEGO® style! This camp uses award-winning LEGO® WeDo and Mindstorms NXT kits to create an array of robots, a variety of sensors and their creative minds to design , build and program their robots to complete a challenge chosen by the group.

Each summer and during specific school breaks (such as fall and spring break), our families are faced with a stressful dilemma. As parents prepare for independence by working or going back to school to improve their job prospects, the summer break and holidays require them to find child care that is safe and affordable. Almost 90% of the families living at Genesis Home are single female heads of household. Given their limited resources and lack of support, many of our parents wonder how they can keep their jobs or attend school when their children are out of school.

Your support to send our kids to camp and provide culturally enriching programs year round will aid in the development of a well rounded young person.  Help support Genesis Home's efforst to send all of our young people to camp!

MAKE A DONATION

Send Our School-aged Children to Summer Camp and Beyond. Here's how your dollars make a difference:

$15 - Lunch box, water and food containers

$30 - One week at day camp for one child

$120 - Four weeks of day camp for one child

$240 - Eight weeks of day camp for one child

Links:

The Eye Center Team at The Great Human Race
The Eye Center Team at The Great Human Race

Thanks to the efforts of individuals and local businesses, Genesis Home will be able to send all of our school-aged children to summer camp this year! The Eye Center was a Gold Level sponsor for the second year in a row and played a significant role in helping us send kids to camp. Learn more about this great business through a Q&A with Manager Caitlin Casale.

Why did The Eye Center want to support Genesis Home? The Eye Center doctors and staff feel a very strong sense of pride in our community. We appreciate the fact that Genesis Home keeps families together and provides education and opportunities that families need.

Is this the first time you’ve done an event with Genesis Home? As a group we have enjoyed sponsoring Genesis Home and walking in the Great Human Race for the past two years. We also provide eye exams for the families staying in Genesis Home. 

Can you tell us more about your business? The Eye Center is a local business owned by Dr. Naheed Kassam. The [original] Eye Center is located in Durham. We now have a total of five convenient locations in Durham, Fayetteville, Burlington, Wilmington, and Raleigh. We strive to give the most thorough and technologically advanced eye exams possible.  

What makes The Eye Center unique? We are among the few providers in the country with AccuExam Technology, providing super accurate prescriptions for glasses and contacts as well as comprehensive ocular health exams. 

What do you like best about Durham? Durham is a wonderfully diverse area with an awesome feel. There are many wonderful outdoor parks and restaurants that are really fun. There are also some great music venues, walking trails, and kids’ museums. It is an overall great area with great people.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? We are really glad to be able to take our specialty and help such a wonderful organization!

 

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Organization Information

Families Moving Forward

Location: Durham,, NC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.genesishome.org
Project Leader:
Robin Temple
Director of Development
Durham, NC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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