Infusion of private funding aims to help homeless youngsters

Mark Abrams
June 12, 2018 - 9:00 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The People's Emergency Center is planning to expand its services to families in homeless shelters thanks to a three-year grant.

The Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program is contributing nearly $1.5 million over three years to the PEC in West Philadelphia for its early childhood education programs.

"Early childhood education helps to mitigate the effects of the trauma they've experienced," said Kathy Desmond, PEC president, "helps them be successful in school, and helps to build resilience."

Desmond said the bulk of the money will be used to hire and train staff as well as help engage parents in shelters with head start and pre-K programs.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the grant is a big boost.

"People say people should pay for their own kids. But if they can't pay for their own kids, the kid doesn't get the education and we wind up taking care of that kid for the rest of their life anyway," he said.