About A Child’s Place
A Child’s Place works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.
How A Child’s Place Began
A Child’s Place began in 1989 when several women were walking through Settlers Cemetery in Uptown Charlotte and noticed children playing there during school hours. At that time, children were not allowed to enroll in public schools without a permanent address. The women decided to take action and with their support, A Child’s Place was started with 27 homeless children in a room provided by First Presbyterian Church. Around the same time, Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Act (MCV) protecting the educational rights of homeless children, shifting the mission of A Child’s Place to support homeless children enrolled in public school. Since 1989, ACP has transformed into a leading organization and has been working to improve the wellbeing of children and families experiencing homelessness in Charlotte.
Meeting the Needs of Homeless Students
ACP programs focus on supporting families with children in schools and neighborhoods left out of the economic prosperity of our city, often marked by segregation, poverty, and high rates of eviction and foreclosure. ACP deploys a team of specialists into schools and the community to work with the unique challenges of family homelessness. On-going case-management through individualized student plans aims to maintain attendance, healthy behaviors, and staying up-to-date on coursework.
Each unique service at ACP addresses complex challenges of homelessness to build a community where children have access to housing, engage in healthy supportive relationships, and succeed in school. ACP’s ongoing strategy is to create systemic change within Mecklenburg County by serving as a voice and advocate for homeless students.
During the 2017-2018 school year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported a system-wide enrollment of over 4,000 identified students in a homeless crisis. That number is almost certainly too low, because it doesn’t include non-school-age children, nor does it account for students who are very good at keeping their homelessness from teachers and school administrators.
Funding our Work
A Child’s Place has been determined by the IRS to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is nearly 100% privately funded by individuals, foundations, and corporations, making fundraising a top priority for ACP. In addition, ACP depends on in-kind contributions of school supplies, school uniforms and other clothing, personal toiletry items and food for snacks throughout the year.