Imagine life as a child who gets on and off the school bus every day - not in a neighborhood or at a driveway - but at a homeless shelter. That is what 65 children do every day at The Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter for homeless women, children, and families. They leave school to face the reality that the shelter is the only place they can call home. 

On average 100 children stay at the Center of Hope every night, and roughly half are school-age. Speedway Children's Charities' grant of more than $28,000 makes it possible for the Center to have the nation's only Boys & Girls Club on the campus of a homeless shelter. The Club provides the children with critical stability, opportunity, and relief from the upheaval of homelessness. 

Renee, a 17-year-old high school student, is one young person benefitting from the generous support of Speedway Children's Charities. The Club has helped her keep her hopes and dreams alive while living at The Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter. A member of an elite traveling basketball team, Renee is looking to be recruited now by colleges such as North Carolina State and the University of Florida. The Club's focus on planning and schoolwork helps her remain on a solid academic track as she pursues her athletic dream. 

"My grandparents tried to help," Renee said, "but after my mom lost her job, there were only so many times they could send checks. We also stayed with family for a while, but eventually ended up coming to the shelter." 

Without the help of organizations such as Speedway Children's Charities, young people such as Renee wouldn't be able to break the cycle of generational homelessness-and realize their full potential and make plans to accomplish their dreams.

 About The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte seeks to enable young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.