On August 27, 2016, The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project hosted a health fair for D.C. General’s Family Homeless Shelter. Playtime Project’s mission is to “nurture healthy child development and reduce the effects of trauma among children” who live in short-term housing programs in Washington, D.C.
The shelter holds way over 200 families and provides residents with a rooms to stay with their families, three meals a day, a place to wash clothes, and a playground for children where they can play safely under supervision.
While the shelter has gone through many problems in the past, with the help of Playtime Project, they have made some improvements.
Many organizations who aim to promote and give accurate health information came out to help the D.C. General community. Among the many organizations at the fair was The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). At the fair, LAYC conducted engaging demonstrations of child birth that kept the interest of parents, as well as children.
Surprisingly, Street Sense, a D.C. newspaper dedicated to uplifting the homeless and providing them with sales experience, were there to give information to the residents at the fair on how to become a Street Sense vendor. As a newspaper, Street Sense is unique in that the funds for the paper sales go directly to the homeless who sale them.
As an intern at The Young Women’s Project (YWP), I had the opportunity to represent the organization at the fair. YWP focuses on youth poverty issues, as well as sexual health.
At the fair, I presented health information as well as gave instructions on how to properly use condoms and other barrier contraceptions.
Towards the end of the fair, Playtime Project held a giveaway for expecting mothers. The prizes included training toilets for toddlers and many other things mothers may need for their child. Playtime Project also distributed diapers, baby wipes and other items for small babies.
The fair provided a lot of information and connections in D.C. for families to take advantage of and lead healthier lives.