Helping the Homeless

Vogel Alcove -- a Safe Place for the Children
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
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Since 1987, Vogel Alcove has been providing daytime childcare for homeless children 5 years old and younger. It was founded by Thelma Vogel and Doris Budner in response to the growing number of homeless people, primarily women and children, in the mid-1980's. In March 1987, The Alcove Childcare Center served 11 children. The name was changed to Vogel Alcove in 1988 after Thelma Vogel died in a plane crash. Doris Budner continued her efforts for the next 15 years, growing the center and adding services to homeless women and children. She passed away in 2003. The center currently has a capacity of 114 children per day.
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Since its inception, over 12,500 homeless children have passed through the doors of Vogel Alcove.  The mission of the Vogel Alcove is "to provide the youngest children of homeless families with the foundation for success." Their vision is that "every child in our community has a home, a self-sufficient family, and a pathway to success in school." The focus is on providing a child-centered environment, early childhood education, and basic needs of the children including nutritious meals, clothing, and diapers. However, children also receive free well-child check-ups, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings and free dental care in conjunction with associated organizations.

Upon the re-entry of the family into the community, the Stepping Stones program provides short-term childcare for selected families. For children too far from the center, the Extensions program offers free vouchers for them to attend a childcare center nearer to them.

Parents also benefit from the programs of Vogel Alcove.  The Beyond Surviving  class, for women only, teaches participants about building self-esteem, recognizing depression and anxiety, and developing healthy relationships. All parents may participate in Beginnings, basic parenting techniques for appropriate parent/infant interaction, and Parenting Matters, group sessions facilitating discussions about parenting issues. There is also a special class for Spanish speaking parents.

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