Erin Eaton, director of The Salvation Army Children’s Shelter in Kansas City, Mo., recalls a young homeless girl from their shelter going to a fashion show hosted by HALO a few years ago. Eaton said she will never forget this because the girl normally kept to herself since was she introverted and had a very low-self esteem. But the show experience transformed her into a confident social butterfly.
“It was a complete 180 from when we first started when she was in the corner and not really talking to anyone. She was so happy and talking about the clothes that she wore and the shoes, ” Eaton remembered. “She really blossomed, and it really brought her out of her comfort zone.”
That’s what HALO does: We strive to create a space that lets kids be kids so they can open up through art to start healing from their past. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we partner with other organizations in the Kansas City area to fill the gaps to best serve our children. The Salvation Army Children’s Shelter has been bringing their children to HALO’s art workshops once a week for years, one of the few constants in their lives.
“The kids that come to us are in the middle of a chaotic time of their life, and having consistency and routine is huge to them, and the relationships they build with the HALO team is just another positive relationship with adults that they haven’t had,” Eaton said.
It’s estimated there are over 2,000 homeless children in Kansas City. They have no one to rely on and survival becomes their focus, but when they come to HALO, they don’t have to worry about anything but letting their creative juices flow. HALO will continue to work with The Children’s Shelter to provide a foundation of a family for children without one and to help them heal from their past through art.
HALO is always looking to partner with local organizations in the Kansas City area who are passionate about helping at-risk youth. If you’re interested in partnering with us, please email Carly Manijak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to help us empower kids to be their best selves through love and healing, please donate here.