WNET’s Wait Room Provides Temporary Learning Refuge for Homeless Children
In June 2016, WNET launched a children’s wait room at the New York City Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) Intake Center in the South Bronx, for children whose families are entering the homeless system as a result of domestic violence.
PATH is open 24/7, seeing upwards of 200 families with children each day. Given the time it needs to assess a family’s need for housing, many families are at PATH for an average of 8 hours per visit, and visit multiple times.
Working with the New York City Department of Social Services, WNET created a safe, relaxing and educational space at PATH for all local children whose families are applying for shelter as a result of domestic violence. The station provided televisions, education resources and staff training to help launch the new Early Learning Center facility, which will be used for the children of families seeking services during the adult family member’s interview with social workers.
In addition, two child care counselors will be in the room at all times providing emotional support, and WNET’s Education Department will provide additional training for the counselors on how to encourage active media use with PBS KIDS programming, PBS KIDS apps and more.
With this engagement, WNET aims to make a positive impact in the lives of these at-risk children, helping to ensure they have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life, despite difficult circumstances.