If you can, imagine homelessness through the eyes of a child.

There are countless people on the SouthCoast who live without a permanent shelter over their heads, but sadly, there are even more children living in the 93 homeless shelters across the state. Volunteers have been a life net for the homeless children, interacting with them but the year-long shutdown caused by COVID-19 has reduced the amount of volunteers to help with them.

Horizons for Homeless Children is an organization that helps homeless children heal through play. Meghan Schafer of the organization explained how much they rely "on our amazing volunteers to be able to do the important work we do everyday. During the pandemic, 100 percent of our Playspace sites had to shut down for the health and safety of everyone."

Now that the sites are re-opening, the need for volunteers has never been greater, to simply play with homeless children at Horizons for Homeless Children Playspace in New Bedford and Fall River.

"We are grateful to be able to open up, so that we can bring 'healing play' back to the children experiencing homelessness," Schafer said.

Courtesy Horizons for Homeless Children

So what exactly is "healing play?"

"Children heal through play, and activities like building block towers," Schafer said. "When a child builds a block tower and then knocks it over, they can start to understand loss. Once they have a chance to build it again, they learn the power of resiliency and hope."

Playspace Activity Leaders will be asked to provide two hours of healing play each week. The volunteer shifts are Monday through Friday from 6PM to 8PM. If you are interested in taking part, there will be a new volunteer orientation on Thursday, July 22 from 6PM to 8:30PM in Roxbury.

Courtesy Horizons for Homeless Children


Can the children count on you to help them heal through play?

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