According to Vogel Alcove President/CEO Karen Hughes,
Since 1987, Vogel Alcove has helped children and their families overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness. Through our trauma-informed early childhood and school-aged programs, as well as our family support and physical and mental health services, we work to break the cycle of poverty for these families and help them build a better future. About half of our families are living in shelters. The other 50% have begun their journey toward stability and are beginning their lives in affordable housing. Families that are experiencing or recovering from homelessness deal with various traumatic events in the course of their normal day, and the current climate only amplifies that trauma.
Many commentators have said “We are all in this together.” That is partially true – we are all in the same storm known as COVID-19, but we are all in different boats! If you are a single mom experiencing homelessness or recovering from the trauma of homelessness, your boat is very different from a person with a secure job and support system who is working from home or awaiting the news of what the school year will bring.
This pandemic threatens to overwhelm our families and places the progress and stability our families have worked so hard to attain in peril. Whether it’s a job, their home, putting food on the table, or simply health and safety of their families—the worries are many and their boats are small and taking on more water each day.
As a result, it has been absolutely essential that Vogel Alcove step up during this time and help our families avoid being swept away in these undercurrents. Without the anchor that is Vogel Alcove, providing the care and support these families need, the effects of this pandemic and its economic and social upheaval would be detrimental.
We’ve evolved our programming and safety protocols so that we can continue to welcome our children to school each day throughout this time, so that their parents can continue to work and try to hang on to that lifeline called “stability.” When asked, “Why is Vogel Alcove essential to the Dallas community?” I am reminded of the poem “The Ascent” written by Howard Rainer, a Native American poet:
And take this hand that
Reaches out to you.
Into my eyes;
Cries out to you:
Friendship is my thought.
Let us climb
The jagged cliffs of life
And fight the ascent of
If I can lift you today,
You will look back
And grab the hands of a thousand more.
That is the way
The Great Spirit would have it!
Please join us in our efforts to reach out and grab hold of these families who so desperately need our support and steady hand as they try to find stability within the turbulent waves of COVID-19. We cannot do it without your help. The need is great, please consider making a gift through our web site today, www.vogelalcove.org.
Though we cannot allow any volunteers in the building at this time, we appreciate your in-kind donations of items such as household cleaning supplies, children’s clothes, school supplies, and educational toys for children ages 5 weeks to 12 years old.
It is our vision that every child in our community has a home, a self-sufficient family, and a foundation for success in school and life regardless of their circumstances. We hope you will partner with us as we continue navigating the waves of the most uncertain and stormy times of our generation.
* Photo credit: Danny Campbell ** Graphic provided by Vogel Alcove