No Child Dreams of Being Homeless…

People living on low incomes are juggling all the time.

It doesn’t seem possible, it doesn’t seem fair that any child is without a safe place to live, but it’s happening here in Sunnyvale. Children and their families are living in cars and teens are “couch surfing” by crashing with friends or relatives. Two or three families crowd into unheated garages.

This summer, we are gearing up for our “Head to Toe” program for Sunnyvale school children. We plan to distribute over 1,300 filled backpacks and $25 gift cards for new shoes, and more than 2,500 bags of extra food to help fill the growing summer food gap when schools are closed. Our goal is that every child in Sunnyvale will get supplies and shoes so they are ready to learn.

No child wants to worry about where they will sleep every night.

When children and their families come for backpack day, we ask the kids what they like to study at school. We love to hear them tell us about what they want to be when they “grow up.” We have budding dancers, fire fighters, doctors, professional soccer players, chefs, and computer programmers. Many of them want to take care of their parents and sisters and brothers. They are the future of Sunnyvale.

None of them dreams about being homeless. No child wants to worry about where they will sleep every night.

We wish we could report that our numbers are shrinking, that there is less need here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Sadly, many families have left because of the high cost of housing. For the families still trying to make it here, the need is deeper and constant. Families working in the service industry and in jobs without benefits face an everyday battle to stay housed, with utilities turned on and food on the table.

Thankfully, our community has always shown a commitment to help the most needy in Sunnyvale. We are truly grateful for your continued support. Together we can work to prevent homelessness and hunger.

Marie Bernard
Executive Director, Sunnyvale Community Services