A Child’s Place of Charlotte needs community help to serve 4,453 identified homeless children attending CMS schools

CHARLOTTE, NC – A Child’s Place (ACP), a local nonprofit which assists homeless children attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), reports the number of children who need help keeps rising. The final count for the 2009-10 school year was 4,453, many more than most people realize.

“Those of us who have never lived in poverty don’t tend to think of children among our area’s homeless, but they are there. Their lack of housing can have profound affects on their physical and emotional health, their education, and their futures,” explains ACP Executive Director Annabelle Suddreth. “Our services are focused to make sure Charlotte’s homeless students have as normal a school experience as possible so they have a better chance to succeed in life.”

Homelessness affects children in some pretty predictable ways. Homeless children are four times more likely to become sick, twice as likely to be hungry, three times more likely to have emotional issues, and twice as likely to repeat their grade as their classmates. A Child’s Place social work staff help address these gaps in addition to meeting homeless students’ basic needs, so they can attend school mentally and physically prepared to learn.

The National Center for Family Homelessness reports that fewer than 25% of homeless children nationally graduate from high school. “As CMS’s only partner dedicated to helping homeless students overcome the hurdles their circumstances create, A Child’s Place is asking for the community’s support to avoid this grim statistic locally,” says Suddreth. Last school year ACP provided services to 1,598 homeless children attending 122 different CMS schools. 93% of ACP’s long-term client students were promoted to the next grade.

“Our 2013 Strategic Plan details how we are stretching to reach more homeless children in Mecklenburg County,” Suddreth continues. “We have found if people know about the issue, they want to make a difference in these children’s lives. This not just the government and the school system’s challenge; it’s the community’s challenge. It will take all of us working together to help. Everyone can do something.”

Interested in making a difference in a homeless child’s life? Some ways you can help:

About A Child’s Place
Homelessness for children isn’t just about where they lay their heads at night; it’s about where their heads are during the day at school, too. Founded in 1989, A Child’s Place of Charlotte is working to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education, reaching nearly 1,600 children during the 2009-10 school year. To learn more about A Child’s Place, a 501(c)3 public charity, or to make a donation, call 704-343-3790 or visit www.achildsplace.org.

ACP contact: Emily Arceneaux 704-343-3790

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