With such limited access to health care, homeless kids and their families have more significant health challenges than kids with a home.

Homeless children also may deal with mental health problems that go untreated due to homeless student isolation. We have seen what COVID isolation had done to non-homeless students across the country. Now take that, add low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and lack of bare essentials in the homeless kid’s life. There is an increased risk for drug use, crime, jail, and even death(including suicide).

We typically feel powerless other than a donation now and again. Supporting the Clean Kids Backpack Program is an excellent place for your contribution. We bring so much more than just a personal care product to the homeless student – we bring hope! While it is vital to revive the hope of students who have been homeless for a while, it’s also essential to get to students at the beginning stages of their transitions to homelessness. Hope leads to action. We would love for you to join us on this vital mission!

People devalue hope as just a personal choice, but it is a key indicator of overall mental illness. When hope is delivered, it reduces substance abuse and especially suicide. According to the National Health Care For The Homeless Council, homeless children who attempt suicide are over three times higher than students in households. Twenty percent of homeless kids attempt suicide.

When a guidance counselor sends a homeless student to their evening location with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, washcloths and towels, fresh socks, and underwear (including feminine hygiene pads) that we provide, we are giving hope. A homeless child who goes to school clean, with fresh breath, and no smell can now focus more at school. And with improved personal hygiene and better grades, hope increases, and self-destruction diminishes.

We need more and stronger voices and action supporting Mental Health. Please consider contacting your local government representatives with your concerns and demands for this. It’s ok to demand they do something about it because it’s their job. Let them know how important it is and that when you vote, you first look to see who has supported mental health and who hasn’t. We have the power to help. Sometimes people think that one person can’t make a difference. Everyone can make a difference! Just imagine how good you will feel if you supported our work and if you made that phone call or sent that email or even better, hand wrote a letter to your representatives! Now you are providing hope! Please contact us and share your experience with us to encourage others to choose to do the same. I appreciate your considerations. Blessings. Father Mark