Program helping to take care of NYC's homeless children during school breaks

NEW YORK (WABC) -- On Monday, New York City students will return to class after a week-long winter break.

For a group of homeless shelters around the city, one program is stepping up efforts to make sure that during breaks, these kids are well taken care of, even in the midst of tough times.

It's an attempt to protect and educate a tragically vulnerable part of the city, homeless children.

"We want to make sure that during the school breaks and during the summer, our homeless children who may be further behind than non-homeless children don't lose and in fact gain education experience," said WIN CEO Christine Quinn.

WIN is a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless women and their children.

During last week's winter break for city school kids, WIN's day camp kept these children safe and engaged at about a dozen shelters the group runs throughout the city, serving about 2700 homeless, including Jasmine Henderson and her three daughters.

"Just because they're out of school doesn't mean that what I have to do stops, so I have a chance to get my important things taken care of as well and they can go and enjoy their day," said Jasmine.

Using sports, field trips and other activities, the group has run these kinds of camps for years during school breaks and during the summer.

The program has taken on extra meaning these days as the city tries to combat a growing homeless population.

"43 percent of our mothers at WIN are working, but they didn't necessarily have the financial resources to keep their apartment," said Quinn.

Jasmine continues to job hunt and is studying in fact to become a nursing assistant. Meantime her daughters have found a safe haven in the midst of harsh reality.

"They love it, they look forward to going when it's available for them. They don't like to leave when I pick them up," said Jasmine.

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