Toddlers (0-5-year-old) are the largest subset of the homeless population. Most spend their most formative years in rough conditions, not helpful at all for their development. Parents often lack access to quality, affordable daycare, preventing their looking for housing or employment.
The First Place Kids Center in Eugene, OR offers "effective, supportive, and quality education to families and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in a therapeutically-oriented preschool environment."
But they are slated to close by June 3rd because of lack of funding.These kids, and countless more coming after them, will have no place to be during the day. The burden on the parents is huge. The loss of this program on the toddlers is traumatic.
Urge Mayor Kitty Piercy (who seems to be sensitive to these issues) to go to bat for First Place (perhaps calling attention to this atrocity statewide). Ask her to make sure homeless kids count.
Budget cuts like this are destroying the future for countless children. These short-term, ill-advised "savings" will cost us much more in the long run. Experts tell us that for every $1 spent in child care now, we save $14 in government money later. It's an investment we should be strengthening, not cutting. These kids thrive in this environment. They'll be better prepared for school and more likely to succeed and be productive adults.
Please use your political connections to call a halt to this program's pending shutdown.