Solutions for Children: Freeing Future Generations from The Churn

The Churn is a cycle of handouts, temporary fixes, dependency and pain that keeps people trapped in homelessness and instability. Those who were homeless refer to this as a never-ending stream of "compassion transactions."

No one wants to stay in this cycle of hardship, of course. People reach out for help, but many public assistance programs provide inadequate responses for homelessness. Shelters, motel vouchers and government subsidized housing are Band-Aid fixes, but not permanent solutions—they don’t address or resolve the root causes of homelessness. They’re about containment instead of empowerment.

So, The Churn continues to perpetuate itself. It continues for years until it becomes an inter-generational problem. The Churn doesn’t just impact individuals; it captures their families too.

There are half a million children who are cycling in and out of homelessness in the United States right now. They sleep in cars, are vouchered into motels or get ready for school in restaurant bathrooms. They move from shelter to shelter or watch their parents battle addiction—all while trying to grow and learn like every other kid. Of these 500,000 children without homes, 75% of them will drop out of school.

Unless we commit fully to solving the root causes of homelessness and ending The Churn, these children will be more likely to fall into the same patterns. They'll become tomorrow's homeless adult, creating another generation of loss and pain. That’s why Solutions for Change is taking on the enormous challenge of solving the root causes of homelessness and crushing The Churn. We have a long way to go, but we must never give up. 

We have seen the first generation of families free themselves from The Churn. And we’ve witnessed what they can do.

Solutions for Change helps parents get to the root of their struggles with homelessness so they can permanently change their lives. And in turn, give their children an entirely new trajectory in life.

Along the way, parents are immersed in job training, parenting, communication and relationship-building classes to strengthen healthy relationships with their kids and become strong role models. When a child sees their parents as stable, confident and happy, it increases their chances of maintaining stability in the future.

Our goal is to rebuild successful families and give the children the chance to grow up without the pressures and trauma of The Churn.

The daughter of Solutions team member Jennifer Pankey watched her mother go from addiction to stability because of Solutions, and has witnessed firsthand how overcoming The Churn can change kids’ lives.

“I saw my mom get arrested when I was in first grade, but we didn’t talk about it until years later,” she said. “I was curious one day and asked why she didn’t stop when I was born.”

In the following years, she and her sister joined their mother Jennifer at Solutions for Change and saw how it was possible to overcome the obstacles in their lives.

“After that, I built my relationship back up with my mom,” she said. “I became stable with my grades. I made honor roll. And I now believe there’s nothing stronger than the bond between a mother and daughter. Until Solutions, I didn’t have any of that. But now I do.”

Solutions for Change does so much more than help parents maintain housing. We help them escape The Churn permanently, for generations to come. When a parent overcomes The Churn, they can raise their children in stable, loving homes and give them the chance at an even brighter future.