Children in Friends Programs are assessed by trained professionals through our partnerships with the Chester County Health Department’s Home Visiting Nurse Program, the Chester County Intermediate Unit Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, and a Child’s Light Trauma Counseling Program.  Referrals are coordinated with community agencies based on individual needs.  Additionally, our programming during summer breaks prevents learning loss, which often occurs over the summer.


  • Homelessness is traumatic for children because they often experience frequent moves, family split-ups, and living in crowded places before using homeless shelters. (National Center on Family Homelessness)
  • Ten percent to 26% of homeless preschoolers have mental health problems requiring clinical evaluation. This increases to 24% to 40% among homeless school-age children—two to four times higher than low-income children aged 6 to 11 years. (The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth)