Pat Youngquist | Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COLUMN

A NEW SCHOOL YEAR KICKS OFF

As the new school year kicks off, many children are excited about the simple joys of going back to school, while others unfortunately, continue to struggle with simply finding a stable place to call home.

Homelessness is an incredibly stressful life event for the entire family but particularly for children. The Savannah- Chatham County Public School System reported 1,046 homeless students (2018-2019 school year), a 30 percent increase from the previous school year.

At Union Mission, we provide a physical space that allows our families to be safe and comfortable so that they can then concentrate on the things that will help them to move beyond their homelessness.

Over the past 5 years alone, the Magdalene Project at Union Mission, has served 370  homeless  children,  240 of them were school age at the time of entry. Without the Magdalene Project, many of these families would have been living throughout the city doubled up with family or friends, in uninhabitable spaces, cars or home less camps increasing their exposure to environmental dangers and academic instability.

As the homeless count within the school system continues to rise, there will be an increased need to provide emergency shelter and supportive services to these individuals. I encourage you to help make a child feel settled in the new school year by making a gift to the Magdalene Project or by sending a Gift Card to Union Mission to be used for the seasonal needs of these families.

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow