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A Place to Lay Their Heads
A statewide campaign to collect 2,600 sleeping bags for homeless children ends this month.
Wendy Strauss tells the story of a 10-year-old in foster care who was forced to move six times in one year. The boy, along with more than 2,000 other Delaware youth, is considered by the state to be homeless. With the foundering economy leading to foreclosures and job losses and creating other hardships for parents, that list is growing. More of the state’s children are forced to sleep in shelters, vehicles—even outdoors.
“People don’t realize we have so many homeless children,” says Strauss, executive administrator of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and an organizer of a statewide sleeping bag campaign. “Homeless means they could be in foster care or sleeping on the floor at a relative’s home. They don’t have a permanent roof over their head.”
That is why the advisory council and other state agencies are combining to collect and distribute new sleeping bags for 2,600 young people, ages 3 to 21. Sleeping bags, says Strauss, provide warmth and security for a child. Like the 10-year-old of Strauss’ story, no matter where they go, they have their own bag. “There is one constant, a sleeping bag goes with them,” she says. “It’s a place to lay their heads.”
For more, visit gacec.delaware.gov/. The campaign ends December 20. —Drew Ostroski