Stephen was only 6 when he first saw his mom and aunt being beaten at home.
He remembers the time his aunt was left hospitalized and the police became involved. They were provided with a safe place to go, but were pursued by his mom’s abuser.
Stephen spent the next two years as a child moving between shelters with his mom, sister and aunt.
“I remember waiting in a bus shelter in the middle of the night with all of our clothes in garbage bags, not knowing where we were heading next.”
As you can imagine, this is no way for a kid to grow up. Children and youth are innocent victims of homelessness. When they come to the Red Door with their families they have already experienced terrible events in their young lives. Childhood is fragile and without support, children affected by homelessness and abuse are at risk.
“It was big relief for us when we arrived at the Red Door,” Stephen remembers. “It sticks out in my memory as the first place that felt like a home for us.”
At the Red Door, our goal is to support children through the trauma they have faced by offering caring support, as well as programs that promote healthy development, provide emotional support and offer much needed fun recreational experiences.
With your support, we can continue to deliver these key child and youth programs:
- Healthy development of preschoolers: The Preschool Program helps children to develop early learning and social skills in a safe, nurturing environment. It also gives parents time during the day to go to appointments or search for housing.
- Help school kids learn: The After School Program for kids aged 6 to 13 provides homework assistance and tutoring so they can keep up at school. It also offers recreational activities, crafts, and trips such as visits to the library or a local park.
- Life skills for teenagers: The Teen Program provides workshops for teenagers and their parents on topics such as violence prevention, youth and the law, and healthy eating. It also offers homework support and recreational experiences.
To continue helping kids heal and thrive, we need you.
The need is urgent. Every year over 300 children stay at the Red Door with their families. We need your help to give these kids back their childhood and break the cycle of poverty and violence.
Today Stephen is a practicing criminal lawyer, advocate for social justice and Red Door supporter.
“I want to be able to make a positive impact and do what I can to make sure that everyone has a voice in our society.”
Will you join him in making a difference for other vulnerable children?