Every week, some 150 volunteers give children a much-needed opportunity: the chance to play. At five emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, the Homeless Children's Playtime Project nurtures healthy child development and reduces the effects of trauma by creating playrooms where kids can be kids jump into games; explore math and reading; engage in art and imaginative play; eat healthy snacks. Kids get one-on-one attention, and the company of their peers, while parents have time to rest, run errands, and take classes, assured that their children are safe. Monthly field trips introduce children to places like the National Zoo, the Smithsonian, and the White House, and seasonal parties give families opportunities to relax and celebrate together. Activity Packs backpacks filled with games, books, and toys keep children engaged and active when they are away. Most kids come from single-parent, low-income families and are struggling to process the crises from sudden eviction to domestic violence that displaced them. They need these playtimes: to restore comfort, safety, and joy. Won't you lend a hand?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide

Age Groups Served: Infants (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Awards & Recognition

2011 Community Impact Award from Greater DC Cares
2011 Partner Organization with Fair Chance


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Homeless Children's Playtime Project is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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