HCEF-built Learning Centers and/or Resource Libraries (learn more about them here) are a safe place in 15 area housing centers for mothers and their children who are homeless. Among other functions, they provide a comfortable, supportive space where the children's creative expression is acknowledged and encouraged.
Here a child can develop known talents and discover unknown interests and abilities: African drumming, for example, or drawing, creative writing, performing, working with clay, doing scientific experiments.
Visit Expression Junction, our "in-house" art gallery and special exhibits rooms for examples of the children's accomplishments.
The following poem was written by a senior at Clairton High School. She wrote it for and spoke it at the school's C.H.A.N.C.E. club fund raising event on behalf of HCEF. See also Winnie's All Stars Groups 2010
They Speak, So Listen
This child's face says, "I am young and eager to explore this big beautiful world."
This child's body says, "I'm small and frail, but still I will prosper."
This child's smile says, "I'm happy and I just want to live my life on cloud 9."
This child's hands say, "With these, I will create beautiful things."
This child's mind says, "I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Nothing will stop me."
But this child's life says, "Because your parents have no money, you don't deserve to eat."
This child's life says, "Because you're poor, you don't deserve a good education."
This child's life says, "You are nothing and deserve nothing in return."
This child asks, "Now what do I do?"
Our hearts say, "Don't you worry about a thing. We will help you."
Our hearts say, "Just because this child has nothing, doesn't mean we can't give them hope."
We say, "A little hope goes a long way."
This child's heart says, "Thank you for returning my chance."
I say, "No biggie. Everyone deserves their chance at destiny."
Paige M., Senior at Clairton High School, 2010