Community program awards homeless children

Lending hands: East Flatbush-based community organization LYFTS (Lifting Your For Tomorrow Success) hosted a giveaway for children at Tilden Hall shelter on Aug. 18.
Photo by Zoe Freilich

A charitable community group hosted a ceremonial giveaway for children of homeless families in an East Flatbush shelter on Aug. 18. The East Flatbush based organization, LYFTS (Lifting You For Tomorrow’s Success) hosted the event celebrating youngsters at the Tilden Hall residence for completing the summer-long program. About 24 kids were awarded with certificates, and while many were happy with their achievement, many more were saddened their favorite Saturday program was over, said the organizer.

“They were like ‘Oh my God, how could you do this to us? When are you coming back?’” said Keshia Adams, the founder of LYFTS.

The students, between the ages of three and 19 years old, were part of the program’s once a week two-hour session that taught them everything from social justice education, to recreational activities.

The availability of the program not only allowed children the opportunity to learn something during their stay at the shelter, but parents and guardians also loved it because it gave them a window of time to attend to other responsibilities, added Adams.

“They love it because we have a breakfast program in the morning, and the kids come really early for it, and it also gives the parents an opportunity to leave the house for a few hours, and get peace of mind,” she said.

Adams says that bringing her program into the city’s shelters and focusing more on children in the system opened her eyes to the extreme and vulnerable needs of the children, and how she could provide and service them.

“They’re basically the forgotten bunch, and people forget that when these students are not in school, they’re back in shelter,” she said. “And in the shelters there are not that many resources.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected] Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.

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