Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Homeless Children's Playtime Project supports families experiencing homelessness and builds transformative play spaces to nurture childhood development.

Giving Children a Chance to be Children

Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Homeless Children's Playtime Project was founded in 2003 after Jamila Larson, a social worker and child advocate, and Regina Kline, attorney, witnessed the living conditions of children in Washington, D.C.'s homeless shelters. Larson and Kline organized a weekly playroom program in one such shelter where a group of volunteers led activities complete with toys and snacks. From this small, volunteer-based program, the Homeless Children's Playtime Project (Playtime) was born.

Playtime's work is rooted in an understanding of the profound impact of play on children's social development and their physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Today, Playtime partners with homeless shelters across Washington, D.C. to provide children and pre-teens with trauma-informed learning and healing opportunities through play. In 2019 alone, the organization's trained volunteers logged more than 7,000 playroom visits and served over 500 youth experiencing homelessness.

Playtime also takes program participants away from shelters on field trips to museums, sporting events, amusement parks, and more. Beyond these direct service programs, Playtime also engages in local, state, and federal advocacy to represent the unique needs of children in emergency housing and the needs of families experiencing homelessness.

GRoW Support


General Operating Support