Living in a shelter is difficult for most people, but it’s especially hard for children.
“They share one room with their parents and sibs,” says Grassroots Volunteer Coordinator Bonnie Hudak, “and the dining room and family room are common areas for all clients. The kids have no place to call their own.”
But at Grassroots now, the children have a place that’s theirs and theirs alone. With the help of several generous businesses and community organizations, Hudak converted Grassroots’ Activity Room into a children’s playroom.
The newly decorated space “is a special place to hang with each other, do homework, play a game, or just sit and talk,” Hudak says.
“When you’re homeless, you lose that sense of self,” she says. “This playroom gives the children a feeling of belonging to each other. It’s a small piece of home and a common bond that’s just for them.”
Among the organizations that made the Children’s Activity Room possible are Bode Floors, BJs, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Catholic Daughters of St. Louis Church, People Who Need People and the Garden Club.
Grassroots provides the county’s only emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis intervention services. Professional crisis counselors staff Grassroots’ 24-hour hotline; see walk-in clients in need of immediate counseling; operate the Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to community emergencies and manage the county’s emergency shelter for homeless men, women and families.