Horizons for Homeless Children: Jonah’s Story

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(NECN: Latoyia Edwards) - Little 4-year-old Jonah is a happy and self-confident child who wanted to tell NECN all about himself during a recent visit to his classroom.

"I have crazy hair and an army jacket," he says.

Jonah is thriving among his classmates at Horizons For Homeless Children in Dorchester, Mass., an organization committed to preparing him for school success.

But that wasn't always the case. Before coming to Horizons three years ago, Jonah was extremely introverted -- a result his teacher says of constantly moving around and being homeless.

"I feel like all the trauma and all the different things that he would see, it really shut him down and kept him to himself," Jonah's teacher Amanda Martinez says.

When Jonah started at Horizons, he also had a number of sensory issues and trouble with his speech.

"As soon as Jonah turned 4 years old, he blossomed like a flower," Amanda says. "Now he's like a blabber mouth. You can't get him to stop."

Now, he is willing to try new things and is very proud of his own growth -- even showing us these pictures he drew for us.

Horizons for Homeless Children has proven to be the first constant in Jonah's life. It's a place where children know they will be fed, taught and comforted in a loving environment. It's a place they look forward to coming to every day, and a place that's making a difference in Jonah's life.

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