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2019 Letters to the editor stock

The Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) recently reported that there are 597 school children in Porter and LaPorte counties who have no home to return to after school. Even as a board member and donor at Housing Opportunities, a local non-profit dedicated to resolving and preventing homelessness, this number took me by surprise.

In the news, we often hear about the struggles of others, and sometimes we convince ourselves that our community is beyond the reach of those struggles. But the truth is that 377 children in Porter County don’t have any place to work on their science projects; 220 children in LaPorte County have to worry about where they’ll sleep at night. These children deserve the same opportunity for a brighter future as anyone else does.

Housing Opportunities focuses on the well-being of children right here in Porter and LaPorte counties. With help from generous donors, the organization helps families experiencing homelessness take the first step toward ensuring their children a brighter future.

With the firm foundation of a safe and secure home, children are poised for success in school. Without a home, students must bear a mental and emotional strain that affects their academic achievement and well-being. The IYI’s report found that students experiencing homelessness pass the ISTEP+ at half the rate of other students. Not only that, but the National Health Care for the Homeless Council reports that these students are diagnosed with disorders like depression and anxiety at four times the rate of the general population.

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As a registered 501(c)(3), Housing Opportunities relies on the generosity of donors to help connect families to a brighter future through a safe and secure home. Last year, 1-in-3 clients was a child, and community members like you helped provide 247 children with housing.

Before the beginning of the 2019 school year, please consider connecting with Housing Opportunities through www.hoi.help or on Facebook. With your help, our community can resolve and prevent homelessness for children who need a home before school.

Jim Starin, Vice Chair, Board of Directors Housing Opportunities, Inc.

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Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.