Stories & Insights

Homelessness doesn’t take a summer vacation: Joey’s story

Joey is a lot like kids his age. He loves to spend time outside and play sports. But there's one thing about Joey that's different from some of the kids his age: his family just started experiencing homelessness.

August 01, 2019

Joey is a lot like other kids his age. He loves to spend time outside and play sports. His family doesn't have much, but they have each other, and that means the world to Joey.Before this year, Joey would eagerly count down the days till summer, excited to take a break from school and enjoy the warm weather with friends.But this summer, that all changed.

Joey’s parents lost their apartment.

In June, Joey’s parents lost their apartment.

Suddenly, his family was struggling to find a place to stay. Most recently, they’ve been living in their car, an uncomfortable place to sleep, especially in the summer heat.

Joey found himself worrying about going back to school. Would his friends find out he didn’t have a place to call home? What would they say?

Joey’s parents worried about how they would register Joey for school without a permanent address.

Joey isn’t alone.

Joey might not be who most people picture when they think of homelessness in this state, with his bright eyes and sweet smile that persists despite all his family has been through lately.

But, unfortunately, Joey's story isn't uncommon for families in Rhode Island.

Summertime takes a toll on homeless families.

We’ve seen the toll that homelessness has on families at Crossroads, especially in the summertime.

Each summer, dozens of families in Joey’s situation come to our Family Shelter, desperate to escape the heat and danger of living on the street, as well as establish a semi-permanent address so their children can start school.

Children like Joey are left hungry without the regular meals they would get at school, tired without a bed to sleep in and embarrassed without a home to invite a friend over to.

Unfortunately for those experiencing homelessness, donations tend to decline in the summer months —just when families like Joey’s need help the most.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s this:

Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. As housing costs continue to climb in Rhode Island, too many families are one layoff, medical emergency, or accident away from eviction.

And as we’ve seen from Joey’s family, homelessness doesn’t take a summer vacation.

Your support for individuals and families experiencing homelessness is more critical than ever. Donations like yours have the potential to help a family register their child for school, a single mother obtain employment, or a vulnerable individual move into housing.

Consider donating to Crossroads today to help thousands in need overcome their homelessness.

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