Have you ever heard the phrase “invisible homelessness”? Did you know that most homeless people exist out of our sight, roughing it on sofas of friends and families? Many homeless children fall into the category of invisible homelessness; it is this that drew me to Faces without Places last year when I was looking for a place to volunteer as a board member.
I am the mother of two teenage boys and when I told them where I was spending my free time they questioned me; “Mom, we don’t have any homeless kids around Milford. Why are you doing all this extra work? ” These questions needed good answers. I showed them the Faces without Places website and they seemed somewhat satisfied. I asked them to think; ”What would you do if we didn’t have a place to sleep at night?” They said, “We would go to family.” Their response makes sense. I told them, in short, kids don’t know that they are homeless because parents and family can do a really good job at trying to keep life normal when the family is in real crisis. That hit home to them and they both said they knew of someone at school who was homeless.
I have volunteered my entire life in some capacity. I remember bringing canned food from our family’s pantry to grade school to contribute to food drives. In high school, I spent afternoons making sandwiches for the homeless shelter. In college, I helped clean out an elderly woman’s basement so that repairs on her foundation could be done. As a parent, when the boys were young, I helped in their school libraries and cafeterias. At this point in my life, I felt the need to make more of an impact when I volunteer. I am fortunate to have the support of my employer, Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc. to make the commitment to be a Board member with Faces without Places
What I look forward to the most each time I attend a board meeting, fundraiser, or event is making a positive impact on the kids!
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