Helping homeless families
Cross-country move ends in a shelter
Rocia "Rosie" Barron couldn't find work in her Colorado town, so she moved to New York in hope of finding more job opportunities and a better life for her two children, ages 5 and 2. The young mother arranged to stay with an uncle in New York but when the family arrived, the uncle had moved.
Afraid and alone, Rosie searched for a place for her family to find shelter from the frigid January temperatures. "My first day of coming to New York was my first day of coming to the shelter," Rosie explains. "So there goes my New York experience."
The family arrived with just a suitcase at the Willow Avenue Shelter in the Bronx, which partners with World Vision to care for homeless families. The shelter offers housing for families, including recreation and afterschool programs for the children. The recreation activities are designed to help children transition into life in the shelter. And the afterschool programs help them to stay caught up with their schoolwork in the midst of the instability that is impacting their lives.
World Vision helps keep the shelter running by supplying clothing, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, art materials, and school supplies for children, Christmas gifts, and more. "A lot of times we're in need of a lot of things, and World Vision is always there for us," says Erika Calderon, the shelter's recreation coordinator. "You know without their help... I don't know how we're going to dig up the stuff we need."
Rosie now looks toward a self-sufficient future. She says she plans to "get out of government help - that's my one goal. And after that, I guess the sky's the limit."