New York summer camp provides haven for homeless children

Summer camp is a common thing for kids to look forward to, but the 23,000 kids in New York City's homeless shelter system don't have the opportunity to count down to the days and nights of s'mores, camping out and hiking.

Homes for the Homeless -- a New York-based nonprofit -- is here to change that. The organization offers a free alternative for over 500 homeless children every summer, and since 1989, Homes for the Homeless has given homeless children the opportunity to experience summer camp.

Every summer, hundreds of homeless children -- ranging in age from 6 to 13 -- get together to experience the joy that is summer camp. The program is located in Harriman State park in upstate New York, and it includes three different 16-day sleep away sessions at Camps Lanowa and Wakonda. For many of the children, this is their first time traveling out of the city.

The children are split into bunks in cabins like they would be at any overnight summer camp, and they participate in a wide range of camp-like activities, from swimming to dancing and fishing.

The camp is free for children whose families are receiving public assistance, and children who currently live in shelters -- or have lived in shelters in the past year -- are given priority.

See the video below for another amazing story about Homes for the Homeless:

Construction Begins on Homes for Homeless Women and Children

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