Hello Friends, Partners, and Supporters of Union City Kids’ Zone,
We are reaching out to you on behalf of the Kids’ Zone to ask for assistance with a growing crisis in Union City. Part of the role for our Kids’ Zone staff is to outreach to homeless families and students for linkage to resources and assistance with ensuring that the children still make it to school and can grow academically. Unfortunately, over the last 12-18 months the number of families in this situation has been dramatically on the rise.
Since the start of this school year, we have received over 50 referrals for newly homeless families, most of which have multiple children. These families collectively represent over 100 newly homeless children that we are aware of in our schools. We know there are plenty more that are embarrassed to reveal this information, and afraid their children will lose their placement in school. They are often unaware of their rights or their options.
We are reaching out to you because we have come to know first-hand that there is nowhere local for these families to go for shelter. They are sleeping on floors or couches if they are lucky, often in cars, or sometimes needing to uproot their families or commute to places like Oakland or Richmond to get into a shelter. We have received tremendous support by partners like Centro, Fremont Family Resource Center, Abode Services, and families in the community who are sharing their homes. However, we believe that Union City can do more. These families and youth are a part of our community, and shipping them elsewhere is simply not an acceptable long term solution.
Union City Kids’ Zone is convening a “brown bag lunch think-tank” on this issue. We want to bring together a group of committed and knowledgeable community and agency representatives to design possible solutions to this growing challenge for our community. As an important leader in our community, we are asking you to join us for a preliminary meeting to kick-off this effort. Please join us on January 8th from 12:30-2:30 at the Union City Kids' Zone Resource Center for this timely and important work. Please bring a lunch and we will provide drinks and light dessert. Please feel free to bring any guest(s) interested in contributing to this process.