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Opening Doors for Children & Families

A Place To Call Home

For close to 18 years I lived in the same house. My parents bought the farm I grew up on when they were 19 years old. For me and my two siblings it is the place we grew up and have always lived until we moved out on our own. My brother and his wife and two boys now live in that house. And although they've done some renovations it still feels like the house I grew up in. If you look closely at the ceiling in what is now the toy room which was once our living room, you can see a dent. That is from my brother shooting an arrow into the ceiling when he was about 10 years old (I swear we had supervision.) Every room has many memories and I will probably always say "I'm going home" when I talk about going to visit my brother's family.

Looking back it was something I took for granted and still do. Having the stability of a home. It seems so simple, so basic, yet for many of the families of ABC Head Start it is not. I am reminded every time one of our social workers calls to say another family is moving. The fact is, families living on limited incomes in Edmonton struggle with housing everyday. There is just not enough affordable housing to go around which causes families to live day-to-day, week-to-week not knowing if they will be able to stay in their current home for more than a month let alone a full school year.

A few years ago I watched the HBO documentary Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County. If you get the chance please watch it! I can tell you from working with ABC Head Start for the past 5 years that this is a great example of the challenges the families we work with are going through. Although it is a documentary set in Orange County I was amazed at the similarities and almost felt like I had heard these families stories before through the mouths of ABC Head Start families.

Here in Edmonton we lucky to have responsive leadership who are looking for solutions to the housing crisis in Edmonton. Please make sure we strive to find solutions to this key issue in our city, share this with your friends, family, colleagues and your city councillors.

With the support of volunteers, ABC Head Start Society is able to support vulnerable children and families throughout the year. Volunteers contribute by sharing their ideas, talents and energy to events, on our Board of Directors and fundraisers, and in providing direct support to children, parents/caregivers and families.