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Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving homeless children more than a place to call home

Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving homeless children more than a place to call home

LatinaLista — In the late 1980s, two teachers from Plano, Texas noticed that some of their students were carrying large trash bags with them to school every day. The students would stuff the bags in their lockers and collect them at the end of the day. When the teachers asked the students what was so important that they would bring the bags every day to school, they got the shock of their lives.

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The students had all their earthly belongings in the trash bags — because they were homeless.

Immediately wanting to help the students, the two teachers got another shock — there was no place for these children to go in the Dallas suburb. That's when the two gathered friends and churches to create what eventually would become CITY House.

CITY House serves a dual purpose with two distinct services. One is an emergency shelter, known as My Friend's House, for homeless children and the other is a transitional living program for young adults not ready to live independently.

Boys and girls, ages newborn to 17, who are homeless are sheltered and cared for at one of two homes in the My Friend's House program — the Boyd House for boys and the Goodman House for girls. When asked by their friends where they are staying, the homeless children can reply comfortably and truthfully at My Friend's House.

For young adults, ages 16-21, who don't have a home or feel they can't live with their families, there is the Transitional Living Program. After an arduous application process, young adults accepted into the program are offered a range of services that include: residential care (up to 18 months), tutoring, school enrollment, college application assistance, individual life coaching, enrichment workshops and college scholarship aid.

Over the years, CITY House has grown in the number of beds and young people it serves. It's also grown in the number of success stories too.

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