At Midnight Mission in Los Angeles, we understand that the experiences of homelessness, even living in homeless shelters for families, have a severe and long-lasting effect on children, seriously impacting their mental, emotional, physical, and social development, which often results in dramatically higher levels of acute and chronic illness. Children in these circumstances are in fear and often at risk of being separated from their families and placed in the foster care system. Children who grow up without a home are also more likely to experience homelessness again in their life, perpetuating the vicious cycle of homelessness.
Our Family Living Program not only provides counseling for these children but also after-school tutoring and educational programs. Our team of professionals works in collaboration with strong community partners, such as L.A. Works, School on Wheels, and Loyola Marymount University students to ensure our children’s academic success.
The HomeLight Family Living summer camp, established in 2012, is one of the ways that Midnight Mission in Los Angeles seeks to give our children a chance to enjoy themselves in a way they may never have been able to before. Each summer, our current and alumni children can experience the joys of summer camp, trips to the beach, camping, and many other exciting activities. It is important for the children to have fun and just be kids and for the parents to rest assured their children are safe and not alone.
As a result of experiencing homelessness, living in homeless shelters for families, and/or living in extreme poverty, many children suffer from education deficiencies. As part of our focus on academic improvement, HomeLight staff strives to provide an enriched learning environment well-suited for the specific needs of our children. Our specialty volunteers and staff offer one-on-one tutoring, basic literacy, computer classes, and a book club for our school-aged children.
A key component in our children’s success is academic tracking. To achieve this, staff members are regularly in communication with parents regarding their child’s academic progress. We also encourage and equip parents to become actively involved in their child’s education. Part of this plan includes report card monitoring each semester. By doing this, we can identify academic strengths, which help build the child’s confidence, as well as review areas in which they may require additional assistance. The goal is for each child to be able to achieve grade-level appropriate understanding.