Heart's Place Services, Inc.

where our hearts guide our hands


       Advocacy for the homeless       Weekend Survival Kit      Winter clothing
 
Urgent Request - the schools we serve have had increased numbers of
homeless students and this year and we are in great need for more funding
to be able to feed all these homeless children.

     Each backpack costs $20 for one weekend for the student and younger siblings at home.
                           Please consider donating as soon as possible
                       so we don't have to leave some children without food
                the weekend when the weekday school meals are unavailable.                                                   

Consider the words of Frederick Douglas:  

                   "It is easier to build strong children than to repair a broken man.

                                                                                     and
From the Coalition for Homeless Children and Families:

Children are the city’s future.  Homeless children need special attention.  Not since the Great Depression have so many families been without homes in the U.S.  Homeless children have more health and mental health problems than other children:  they are four times as likely to have developmental delays, twice as likely to have learning disabilities and twice as likely to repeat a grade.  Maryland is ranked as 21st at risk for child homeless.

                                                            *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Please also see the Page at right entitled: "Other news about homeless children" which includes information on a recent Federal Reserve Study finding about the impact of food insecurity on a child's future.


Here are some of our good friends and supporters who believe in the vital importance of caring for homeless children and who have come forth with the help we need to continue our programs for these dear children of our City.

2017 Funding Campaign - We are very grateful to the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds for their generous donation to our Weekend Survival Kit, the backpack program for homeless students.  This gift starts us off with help for the 2017/18 school year where we are finding significantly larger numbers of homeless students attending the school we serve.  

                                                                              *     *     *
2016 Funding Campaign -  Each year we will acknowledge groups who assist Heart's Place Services, Inc. with financial and In-Kind donations, first on our Home Page, here, and then move the acknowledgements to our "Partners and Friends" page at a later date:


It was truly a pleasure to work on a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 16, 2017 with members of Jack and Jill of America and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. who not only worked on filling backpacks but also donated hundreds of pounds of food to accomplish this. Our Board Member, Karen Heyward-West worked with us to arrange this highly successful day of filling backpacks for homeless students which were shared with the communities of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Prince George's County.  We were able to stage this very large project at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church at 2200 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  This historic Mother Church of American Methodism, founded in 1784, describes their focus as "fellowship and service to others" and "putting faith and love into action", a perfect connection to Reverend King's life that we celebrated that day.  We could not have asked for anything more than the generosity and kindness of Pastor Travis Knoll and his staff even to the tours of the beautiful Church and it's museum offered to all the workers by Pastor Knoll.  Because of the backpacks even to Heart's Place Services we were able to add one more school with 7 homeless families to this semester's school year. And there was sufficient food left over to donate to a local feeding station for the poor and others.  

December, 2016 - Heart’s Place Services wishes to sincerely thank everyone at Ober, Kaher for choosing us, and our Weekend Survival Kit for homeless children, as one of the three recipients of this year’s Ober/Kaler Community Grant.  The firm’s method of choosing the programs for their generous grants each year involves participation by their entire firm including employees at all levels who carefully study, review and discuss, and finally vote on the programs to receive the awards.  What a wonderful method of encouraging corporate responsibility for the communities in which the firm operates but to also give all their employees’ equal participation in the good that these grants give.  The very generous funds we received will fill backpacks of food for many homeless children and their families in Baltimore City and without doubt will mean a better future for their children.  We have been extremely impressed by Ober Kaler and, again, thank them.

On behalf of Heart’s Place Services, Inc. we wish to thank Capital Lending and Mortgage Group, LLC, an affiliate of Capital Funding Group, Inc., for their generous donation to the Weekend Survival Kit.  Their help will assist us in continuing this program that feeds homeless students attending Baltimore City Public Schools, and their families, thus ensuring a healthier future for these children.  Thank you for helping the citizens of Baltimore City.
*     *     *     *     *     *
Heart's Place Services, Inc. has just received another generous donation to the Weekend Survival Kit, this one from the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, a Supporting Foundation of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.  This gift, as with all others, goes directly to feed the homeless children and families we are serving and will make a true difference in their lives.  On behalf of these children and families we thank the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund.  Generosity and kindness to those in need are never forgotten.      

                                                        *     *     *     *     *     *
We have recently received yet another, very generous gift to assist us in feeding Baltimore City's homeless children and their families.  This gift, from the Kiwanis Club of Baltimore City, will provide 250 backpacks of food for these families.  We were honored to meet members of this Club, very gracious and kind men and women, and we thank them from our hearts.
 *   *   *

The Weekend Survival Kit     
TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) - for many of us

versus

TGF (Thank God for) the Weekend Survival Kit - for the homeless family

          TGIF for many of us means a weekend of relaxation, attending to some chores and spending time with family members.  To the homeless family the weekend means two tense days of worry about not being able to provide their children with sufficient food because school, and the free breakfasts and lunches provided there Monday through Friday, is closed.  Closed also are many of the places serving free meals to the poor who often live in "food desserts" where supermarkets are at distances and the nearby corner store may offer little more than chips and sodas for purchase with what few funds they may have.

          So children are hungry; they get annoyed and resentful and the family's stresses increase.  Not only are the parents finding themselves and their families without stable homes but also without stable sources of food for any of them.  There is often not even enough to share.  Cans of beans, SpaghettiOs, Mac'n Cheese, fresh corn and meat provided by food pantries are a tremendous help but these foods need to be heated, a luxury the homeless often do not have.  What are the outcomes of such stress-filled family situations for the children?

          Besides the school officials' reports of a homeless, hungry child's poor behavior, lack of interest in learning and lethargy after a weekend with little or no food, there is a study in Diabetologia ("Experience of a serious life event increases the risk for type 1 diabetes: the ABIS population-based prospective cohort study" published online April 14, 2015) which concludes that chronic stress at an early age is a risk factor for children developing Type 1 diabetes.  And innumerable studies point to negative physical and mental health development issues resulting from food deprivation during a child's growing years.

           Consider the stresses all members of the homeless family face on a weekend:

The Parent - How can I feed my family when free food is not available for days?
                       My child is angry, is acting up but I don't have the money for more food today or 
                                tomorrow
                       I have other children too young for school but they see their sibling with a small 
                                backpack of food given on the weekend - just enough for one
                       I'm pregnant and I need to have some o the food my child may bring home for 
                                the weekend

The Child - I'm so hungry, why can't my parents get me more food when school is out?
                    Why are my parents so unhappy, so worried?
                    I'm too hungry to do homework - I'm too tired to play
                    I love my brother, sister, mom and dad - I need and want to share my food with them    

          Consider what providing meals for 3 members of a homeless family on a weekend through the Weekend Survival Kit can do to ease these worries, these stresses.  Just a few comments from those receiving the Weekend Survival Kit, feeding three homeless family members, says about the positive effect on the family:

                    "I never knew anyone cared about my family" sobbed one mother who was overcome by the kindness and support she experienced when receiving the Weekend Survival Kit backpack for her child.

                    "Dear Food Company, I want to thank you for giving me and my family food.  That shows me that you care about your people in this world...I appreciate that you care about me and my family..." wrote one child thanking us for the Weekend Survival Kit;

                    "I will not forget to help other people like you do.  I would like to be like you guys when I grow up" wrote another.

           It is vital to keep this program going, expanding and as generous as it is so homeless children are not robbed of the opportunity to grow up physically strong, mentally alert and emotionally secure with food providing sufficient nutritious and caloric content and in a way that keeps the family intact as a unit.