By: Caitlin Cruickshank, program investment & marketing intern and Shelby Ripple, marketing intern
It is easy to take basic needs for granted, such as having a bed for sleeping. But for many Detroit and Wayne County youth, this basic need is much more than “basic.” Basic needs are the minimum resources necessary for physical well-being. These needs must be met, but their importance is often overlooked.
Having a bed to sleep on, clothing to wear, or food to eat impacts the physical, social, emotional, and day-to-day wellbeing of families—and their budgets should not have to be stretched thin to provide these items. That is why the Children’s Center Boutique, enabled by a $50,000 grant from The Children’s Foundation, provides basic needs such as beds, diapers, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, fans, hats, gloves, and blankets for families in need.
The Children’s Center has experienced an increase in requests for basic needs due to financial challenges stemming from the pandemic. An organization with the mission of providing holistic care to children struggling with behavioral health challenges or experiencing trauma, the Children’s Center recognizes that these challenges cannot be addressed without first meeting a family’s basic needs. Providing families with these items ultimately reduces stress and increases engagement in mental health service appointments or child welfare visits. The Boutique is a resource area for families, complete with a clothing closet and food pantry.
The grant from The Children’s Foundation enabled 125 children to receive brand-new, comfortable beds for a good night’s rest, as well as other basic needs from the Boutique for 615 other children and their families. These needs bridge a gap for families experiencing trauma or mental health challenges.
Because of the work of The Children’s Center, a new mother will be able to bring her newborn home in a car seat. Children will have uniforms and school supplies as they start a new year. Teens will have hats and gloves to protect them from cold Michigan winters. While the items provided by The Children’s Center may seem simple, these necessities can have a long-lasting impact and have the possibility of changing the trajectory of lives.