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Homelessness: What You Can Do: Activities for the entire family

October 11, 2007

Most Americans underestimate how the problem of homelessness affects families. About 600,000 families and 1.35 million children experience homelessness in the United States. Family homelessness is more widespread than many think, but it is not an unsolvable problem.

Across the country, hundreds of communities are planning to end homelessness, and a handful of communities and many local programs are making progress in ending family homelessness.

You are helping to end homelessness in DuPage County with your participation in Sleep Out Saturday. Thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to ending this hidden epidemic in our communities.

We recently came across some great activities designed to help us learn a bit more about what it might be like to be a homeless child, teen or adult. And more importantly, what we can do to get involved. All of the information below is from the Natuial Alliance to End Homelessness website. We encourage you to visit the site to gain more insight to the hidden epidemic of family homelessness in our communities.

The Fact Sheets for Students are materials designed for school aged children to educate them about the causes and solutions to homelessness and provide opportunities for the young people to become a part of the solution.

Originally, the fact sheets were designed in 2000 during a partnership project between the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the Fannie Mae Foundation that sought to engage young people in the Washington, D.C. area in the fight to end homelessness. The Alliance updated the fact sheets in 2007 to reflect current statistics and strategies for ending homelessness.

· Kindergarten-Grade 2
· Grades 3-5
· Middle School
· High School

Homeless to Harvard ‘Movie and Activities

In April 2003, Lifetime Television premiered the Lifetime Original Movie, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story. The movie, which is based on a true-life story, was accompanied by an educational campaign to increase awareness about the issues and solutions of homelessness and promote youth empowerment.

As part of this campaign, the National Alliance to End Homelessness and Girls Inc. partnered with Lifetime to develop the Homeless to Harvard educational toolkit. The toolkit, which includes fact sheets and activities to facilitate classroom discussion, has been distributed to high school educators and guidance counselors throughout the nation.

The Homeless to Harvard toolkit is available for download:

• Homeless to Harvard Worksheets
• Homeless to Harvard Teacher’s Guide

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