PCHP Graduate Testifies Before House Subcommittee

A graduate of the Parent-Child Home Program’s early literacy and school readiness program for homeless families in Suffolk County, New York, testified about her experiences as a homeless child at the Subcommittee’s hearing on “The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2011: Proposals to Promote Economic Independence for Homeless Children and Youth.”

Sarah Benjamin, the Mobile Outreach Parent-Child Home Program Coordinator in Suffolk County who attended the hearing with the former participant and her mother, notes “As you listen to this 12-year-old’s testimony as a member of the youth panel, one can see in the midst of family struggles, one consistent thread is that she feels secure when she is in her mother’s presence . . . Despite her struggles, she is a beautiful, strong, hopeful child. This is a tribute to the positive outcomes that can come from a strong parent-child bond. Her mother was fortunate to receive home-visits through the Parent-Child Home Program . . . They were not able to access center-based early childhood education for their children as they moved over 16 times. As a result of the support she and her mother received, this former participant has been an above average student and has developed into an articulate young person, able to stand up and speak for children everywhere.”

PCHP Graduate’s Testimony

Hello. I’m 12 years old, and I’m in 7th Grade at William Paca Middle School in Shirley, New York. I’m here today with my mom, and also with Ms. Benjamin, from the Parent-Child Home Program.

I’ve lived in over sixteen places in my life: six shelters, four times doubled-up with many different people, and we had our own house six times. We also had to go to emergency motel rooms many other times, in between shelters and houses . . .

Read the press release with her entire testimony here.