Homelessness is at an all-time high in New York City, with more than 60,000 people living in shelter. Most New Yorkers do not know that 70 percent of this group is families with children. Twenty percent of these children are five years old or younger. These are the forgotten faces of homelessness. These are the New Yorkers we serve every day at Win.
At Win, breaking the cycle of homelessness is our key priority. We house 4,500 people a night, including 2,500 children. Through our child care services, income-building programs, counseling, and financial literacy efforts our goal is to do better by these moms and children.
The City is now trying to adopt new regulations to limit the amount of time children can spend in our child care centers to 10 hours per child, per week. They want our families to seek care within their communities. Unfortunately, homeless families are already frequently unable to access community-based child care. In fact, most neighborhoods where our shelters are located do not have enough available child care seats to meet the needs of all our children. But our mothers – 51% of whom work – need flexible, safe care in order to go to work, go on apartment viewings, and participate in social services. In Win shelters alone, there are nearly 1,500 children under the age of five. What will their mothers do without Win child care?
Homelessness is already trauma. It greatly affects the development and mental health of our children when left unmonitored. That is why it is imperative that these children remain with Win so we can continue to provide the specialized care they need.
Reducing the number of childcare options available to our families only makes it harder for them to leave shelter for a permanent home and break the cycle of homelessness. Please support this petition and let the city know Win needs its own child care centers! The future of our children depends on you.