Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

A Message from Tim Blaylock, Chief Professional Officer

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on July 23, 2013

Homeless children – a problem right here

Recently one of our staff came to me asking about help for four of our Club kids who just became homeless. I wish I could say this was an isolated occurrence, but it’s not. Homelessness is a big problem right here. Imagine how hard it must be for these children to concentrate in school when they don’t know where they’ll sleep or where their next meal will come from.

A Growing problem

In Ventura County, we have thousands of homeless children who live in a constant shuffle. More than 226,000 children are homeless in California, which ranks top in the United States for homeless kids.
They have high rates of acute and chronic health problems, and the constant barrage of stress and traumatic experience has profound effects on their development and ability to learn.

Finding solutions

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme serves many homeless children to break their cycle of homelessness. We give them dignity and the resources and mentors to help them become successful in school and in life. We connect our homeless members and their families with services that lead them to sustainable housing and self-sufficiency. We provide lunch and dinner during the summer months and dinner year-round at our new CLUB teen center. At our other Clubs, we offer nutritious snacks year-round and lunch during the summer.

Take action

As a community, we must take action. Urge local and state elected officials to push for programs that serve the homeless, especially children. Contribute to organizations that work to break the cycle of homelessness. Volunteer your time and mentor children so they can achieve their full potential as caring, responsible adults. If not you, then who?

And the four homeless children who my staff spoke to me about? We connected them with community services and they are safe, for now. But there will be others. As a community, let’s find solutions to keep a roof over their heads and in school, thinking about learning, having a career and creating a fulfilling life as a self-sufficient adult.
Let’s break the cycle of homelessness.

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