Maryland

Halo looks to end chronic homelessness

Halo looks to end chronic homelessness

SALISBURY, Md. - When Halo first opened it's women and children's shelter back in 2012 they had just 15 children, last year they had. What that signified to executive director Celeste Savage was that they had a problem on their hands.

"As we were seeing the increase in the kids over the years, we realized hey to break homelessness, the cycle of homelessness we have to do something with the kids," Savage said. 

The solution, the Eagle Wings program, based off of scripture in Isaiah.

"Those that hope in the lord will renew their strength and they will soar on eagle wings and we these kids to soar, we want to empower them to be all that gods created them to be," Savage said. 

The program would serve homeless children between the ages of five and 25 offering classes on learning skills, arts and crafts and other activities for the younger kids.

For the older kids he program would provide something more focused, including job training, resume building and other tools to help them lead successful lives

It's providing those skills that Salisbury's  housing and homelessness manager, Theo Williams, believes is so important.

"By having an additional focus on education and skills training outside of school, it's ensuring that once they leave the shelter and hopefully become adults they will have the skills and the tools to avoid homelessness," Williams said. 

Savage hopes to start remodeling the area that will house the program next week.  What they need now, Savage said, is help from the community.

Right now Savage said they need volunteers to work with the children, as well as things like a ping pong table for the children to play with. 

More information on what they need can be found on their Facebook. 

"I think in all of this we're going to see a hope in these kids eyes that they're going to say 'you know what' I can make a difference, I can get out there and become somebody you know and that hopeless then is gone," Savage said. 

The move to start Eagle Wings at-risk youth program is just one of the exciting things that Halo is doing in their tenth year in the community. HALO recently purchased the area former occupied by Harvest Baptist Church. 

The new facilities will host the Eagle Wings program as well as a multi-purpose room, new administrative offices and a meeting room that they will use to teach classes.


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