The Salvation Army of Wake County's Project CATCH (Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless) program will host its first-ever Early Childhood Education and Resource Fall Festival on Thursday, October 19 from 3-6 p.m. at The Salvation Army of Wake County’s Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope, 1863 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604.
The event is free and open to the public.
Part of the purpose of the festival is to bring families experiencing homelessness to have access to childcare and early intervention resources for their children in one location. Donated items such as clothing, books and baby items will be made available to attendees as well.
The family-friendly atmosphere will include food, food trucks, games, prizes and more.
“Connecting families and their young children to early childhood care services is crucial to the healthy development of the child and helping them move out of homelessness,” said Jennifer Tisdale, The Salvation Army of Wake County Project CATCH coordinator. “We are so excited that we are able to provide these services all in one spot for our families in a fun family focused way. We're so grateful for our funders, DCDEE, and also the community for it's support for these families and hope this event is one we can do annually.”
Homelessness has a devastating impact on young children and families and can significantly impact the physical, cognitive and social emotional development of young children. Additionally. it can create significant barriers, such as transportation, to obtaining needed early care and education services. Over half of children experiencing homelessness are under the age of six. In North Carolina, 1 in 26 children are experiencing homelessness and the majority is not being served in early learning programs.
Additionally, the problem in Wake County continues to grow. There was an overall increase in school-aged children experiencing homelessness by 27% between 2014 and 2017.
Community partners helped to donate the items, including Christ Church and The Woman's Club of Raleigh. This event is supported through a grant from the Division of Child Development and Early Intervention to Project CATCH of the Salvation Army in Wake County.
Who: The Salvation Army of Wake County
What: The Salvation Army of Wake County Project CATCH Early Childhood Education and Resource Fall Festival
When: Thursday, October 19, 3 – 6 p.m.
Where: The Salvation Army of Wake County
Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope
1863 Capital Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27604