The National Center on Family Homelessness estimates 2.5 million children are homeless each year. As the number of homeless families in this country continues to be alarming and of major concern, it’s important that we reach out to children and youth to help prevent the factors that can lead to future homelessness. These causes include poverty, substance abuse, a lack of education and job skills, single parenting, and traumatic experiences.

In order to help keep young people on a positive track, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) offers a number of services for the most vulnerable group in our society. Throughout the year, we provide recreation and prevention programs for children. Every summer, we provide a unique camping experience for hundreds of inner city kids at our 240-acre ranch. And, we offer transitional housing for teen mothers and their children — enabling them to finish their education, while learning parenting skills.

Recently, DRMM joined with award-winning author and journalist Mitch Albom, Detroit Lions quarterbackMatthew Stafford, and the City of Detroit to announce funding for the renovation and re-opening of a recreation center that had been shuttered due to budget cuts.

Led by Mitch’s charitable organization, S.A.Y. Detroit, the plan calls for new outdoor athletic fields, an indoor practice facility, and educational and sports programs. As S.A.Y. Detroit’s operating partner, DRMM will help run the center’s activities and oversee the restoration of the facility.

All of us understand the importance of giving children engaging, fun, and educational activities to participate in after school. They need outlets to help stimulate their minds, expend their physical energy, and to keep them from getting distracted by the wrong things. Stafford has pledged to help shape the future of the children who use the recreation center.

That’s what it’s all about — providing kids with a chance to succeed and the opportunity for a brighter future.

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