Make Room for the Babies!
Every parent needs a break sometimes, no matter how well things are going. Just an hour or two to collect your thoughts, take a nap, or have a conversation with a friend can be an enormous gift. It puts all the challenges of the day into perspective.
For parents experiencing homelessness, the need for respite is even greater. 40% of children at DC General Emergency Family Shelter are under the age of two. Parents spend their waking hours working, cleaning, shopping, and caring for their little ones – all in the midst of an up-hill battle to find safe, affordable housing and set their family on a course for long-term stability. The Playtime Project helps parents carve out a rare break for themselves that can mean the difference between optimism and despair. 94.7% of parents say: “Playtime helps me relax and de-stress by giving me a break.”
Thanks to Playtime and our partners, both parents and children are getting the time and space they need to discover their best selves. This work would be impossible without the age-appropriate spaces that we provide for each age group in the five sites where we operate.
Together with our community of dedicated volunteers, we create developmentally-tailored spaces where children can play, grow, and learn in a loving and supportive environment. These dedicated spaces allow each child to practice developmental milestones and explore their individuality with children their own age. Playtime volunteers provide the extra personal, one-on-one care from loving adults that encourages them to thrive!
We are encouraged by the steps now being taken to close DC General and create a better system of temporary housing for families throughout all of DC’s eight wards. We were pleased to have representatives present at all of the community meetings! As the process unfolds, it remains to be seen whether the new shelter sites will provide ample program space for children. Playtime is asking city officials to consider the importance of developmentally-tailored spaces where all children are able to receive the services they need to thrive.