HFH sprang into the New Year with a fun-filled holiday season spearheaded by HFH staff and collaborators like Old Navy, KidCare, Jimmy Jazz, and Hasbro's Hasbro Foundation. Saratoga's Youth Council began providing welcome bags to new families joining Saratoga Family Residence. Allie's Place Center for Culinary Education & Employment graduated its first Barista Training cohort and hosted the grand opening of Allie's Coffee Spot. The HFH research and policy team published Beyond Housing magazine and Family Homelessness in New York City: What the Adams Administration Can Learn from Previous Mayoralties and hosted a webinar on supporting children's educational needs in shelter. We revamped the HFH website to better highlight current programs and operations. Prospect Early Childhood Education students have been exploring jazz music and history. covered a book reading at Saratoga for parents and children about a book where a child experiencing homelessness is a super hero while NYC DOE Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education Dr. Kara Ahmed featured her visit to Saratoga's Early Ed Center in the DOE newsletter. Coming up in our next issue: HFH Summer Camps 2022. It's back! Staff Spotlights on some of the people who make all this work possible, plus more on afterschool/recreation, and the Center for Culinary Education & Employment.
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HFH Staff and Collaborators Pitch in to Keep Holidays Merry and Bright
This past December, HFH staff and collaborators pitched in to ensure that the children at each family residence did not miss out on the magic of the holidays. Toy company Hasbro’s Hasbro Foundation donated several hundred toys and games that were distributed throughout all four family residences. On top of gifts for the children, Old Navy also donated meals and activities including a book reading. Kids enjoyed virtually playing games with KidCare volunteers, eating snacks, and a surprise visit from Santa at KidCare’s annual holiday party. Jimmy Jazz, the shoe store known for streetwear and style, kicked off the season of giving by providing over 100 brand-new Puma sneakers for children at Allie's Place.

Saratoga Youth Council Welcomes New Families While Kids Council Is Formed
Saratoga’s Youth Council, led by Youth Council President Alenell, kicked off an initiative to provide "Welcome Bags" to new families joining Saratoga Family Residence. The idea stemmed from the Youth Council members discussing what they would want as they enter shelter. The bags include toys, toiletries, phone chargers, and books, and are accompanied with a hand written note from the president herself, “On behalf of The Saratoga Youth Council, welcome to your new temporary home.”

The Kids Council at Saratoga Family Residence came to fruition through a simple question from a 7-year-old, “How come the teens have a Council, and we don’t?” The very next day, several children gathered to discuss, plan, and form guidelines and expectations. That 7-year-old went on to become the first Kids Council President.
Allie’s Coffee Spot has Grand Opening at Allie’s Place with the Completion of First Barista Training Cohort
Allie’s Place Center for Culinary Education & Employment just introduced a 3-day Barista training program where students gain real world experience at the conclusion of the course by operating a live pop-up coffee shop on site: Allie’s Coffee Spot. Throughout the course, students learn about the entire life cycle of a coffee bean, from cultivation through processing and roasting and on to the brewing process. On day three, staff and residents popped into the coffee shop for cappuccinos, macciatos, and salted caramel lattes. In April 2022, Allie’s Place Center for Culinary Education & Employment will open its trainings and employment placement services to residents of the broader Soundview community.

HFH Research and Policy Team Debuts Two Publications and a Webinar
Beyond Housing magazine debuted in January, bringing ICPH’s informative conference directly to ICPH's stakeholders. One article in the magazine highlights how Saratoga gives a voice to youth living in shelter through youth leadership councils. In March, over 200 people were able to enrich their experience of the Beyond Housing magazine by hearing from its authors and their colleagues in the panel discussion webinar—“Engaging Families + Supporting Children's Educational Needs in Shelter.” View the webinar recording.
The report, Family Homelessness in New York City: What the Adams Administration Can Learn from Previous Mayoralties, shows how the last five mayors have contended with the challenges of family homelessness, seeks to contextualize the policies of the de Blasio administration on the topic, and ends with a look to the future of family homelessness in New York City under the new administration, led by Mayor Eric Adams.
HFH Website Revamp Goes Live
The HFH website underwent a revamp to better highlight current programs and operations. You can now easily navigate between each family residence, afterschool and early education programs, and all that family services has to offer.
A "RiMarcable" Time at Prospect Early Childhood Education Center
Prospect Early Childhood Education students have been twirling through time as Jazz Explorers diving into the history of Jazz and Swing. From interactive history and music lessons to designing outfits to wear to the "dance," the RiMarcable Music For Arts & Education team brings music to life for our budding musicians.
Saratoga in the News covered a book reading tied to the release of “Knock Knock, Where’s My Sock?” by Adina Lichtman for the kids and parents at the Saratoga Family Residence. The book was informed by several families living at Saratoga and features a poem by one of the teens temporarily living at the shelter. Read the article.
Department of Education (DOE) Highlights Saratoga Early Childhood Education Center
Dr. Kara Ahmed, Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education, visited Saratoga's ECEC and featured the experience in the DOE's Early Childhood Bulletin highlighting the bond between teachers and students and the "array of supportive services and educational options, ... GED prep, and more" that Saratoga offers residents.
As always, our work wouldn't be possible without the staff, partners, volunteers, and supporters who ensure that Homes for the Homeless can continue to provide support for over 725 children and their families.
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