Longwood, FL (PRWEB) February 8, 2006 –-
Families with children are among the fastest growing segment – an estimated 40 percent – of the homeless population, reports the National Center on Family Homelessness. Almost half of the 1.3 million homeless children are under the age of 6. Homeless children get sick twice as often as other children, and go hungry twice as often, too.
“When we help a homeless woman and her children, we multiply that investment many times over,” says William J. Chatlos, President of The Chatlos Foundation, which has long supported the programs of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. Chatlos explains, “We first learned about this inspiring organization through our Chairman of the Board, Kathryn Randle, who lives in southern New Jersey, home of the Mission.”
Directly across the street from the bustling Convention Center, the four-story Atlantic City Rescue Mission serves over 600 meals and shelters more than 200 men, women, and children each day. Opening in 1964 as a storefront shelter that could accommodate a dozen homeless men, this nonprofit, Christian social service ministry has built a strong network with area businesses and more than 60 social service agencies to provide comprehensive services to the growing population of homeless and working poor.
William R. Southrey, President and CEO of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, explains the homeless population in this way. "At one time these people had aspirations, hopes and dreams like everyone else. Now they are people carving out homes in the sand under the boardwalk. But homelessness can strike anyone, and is a condition that can be brought upon a person because of situations and circumstances far beyond their control.” When a mother with children suddenly finds herself on the street, her problems and fears can become overwhelming.
Randle is impressed by the Atlantic City Rescue Mission’s programs, which include addiction recovery and work readiness training for men and women. “The City has recognized the value of the Missions programs,” says Randle, “by donating land for a park and installing a fence to beautify the area. The various casinos provide food on an ongoing basis and some job opportunities.”
The Mission also offers medical assistance, including a clinic, a visiting nurse program, and other services. For example, Randle explains, “Homeless people have a greater need than others for a podiatrist, due to their lack of access to good hygiene and ill-fitting – or lack of – shoes.”
Witnessing the devastating effects of homelessness on an increasing number of children, the Mission opened a Family Life Center within the facility that can shelter up to 13 families at a time. Women take part in parenting and nutrition classes, job training, and counseling. “The need for the single women’s program and the family program is more than ever evident at the Mission,” says Randle. “I have followed these programs since their inception,” she explains. “The Mission is doing an excellent job and filling a need that no other agency is able to fill.”
The need is greater than ever. “This year,” says President Southrey, “it will take $3.1 million, or $8,493 per day, to provide meals, shelter, counseling, medical care, and life-changing programs for thousands of needy people at the Mission.”
Some of that money goes to provide food and housing for the many children who come to the Mission. These are children who won’t have to go hungry again. These are children who don’t have to suffer the higher rate of ear infections, asthma attacks, and stomach problems that plague homeless children. These are children who don’t have to move again and again, separated from parents, brothers, and sisters and losing their few precious belongings. With your help, these are children who will experience safety, stability, and spiritual guidance. They’ll have a better chance to succeed in school, to dream of a future.
You have an opportunity to invest in our country’s future. You can help give a homeless family safety and hope, as they work toward a better tomorrow.
Learn more about the Atlantic City Rescue Mission online at http://www.acrescuemission.org , by calling them at (609) 345-5517, or by writing them at 2009 Bacharach Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08404.
About The Chatlos Foundation:
The Chatlos Foundation funds nonprofit organizations in the USA. Support is provided to organizations currently recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. The Foundation’s areas of interest are: Bible Colleges/Seminaries, Religious Causes, Medical Concerns, Liberal Arts, and Social Concerns. The Chatlos Foundation, Inc. is a private, philanthropic foundation and does not solicit or accept donations from the general public.
The Chatlos Foundation
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