Sleep In Heavenly Peace

SHP was founded in 2012 by a group of volunteers united by the conviction that all children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads at night. Across the US, too many boys and girls go without a bed - or even a pillow - to sleep on. Instead, these children sleep on couches, blankets, and floors, or share a crowded bed with siblings and family members. Children with suboptimal sleeping conditions are more likely to live in disadvantaged circumstances and experience poverty-related stress, all of which contributes to poor sleep. The consequences of poor sleep are significant, especially for very young children. Research shows
that children with sleep issues are more likely to have poor performance in school, experience emotional and behavioral problems, and develop obesity and chronic disease later in life. Access to sufficient sleep is ultimately an issue of equity.

 A recent study on home sleeping conditions and sleep quality in per-school children found that sleeping alone in a child’s own bed is associated with better sleep quality for the child. Providing a
disadvantaged child with a bed is one simple intervention with the potential to make a lasting difference in their lives and in our community. SHP is committed to ensuring that no kid sleeps on the floor in our town.

Our program model centers on creating partnerships with businesses, churches, and community groups to sponsor builds and supply the people power to make and deliver beds. Through word-of-mouth, grassroots advertising, and partnerships with social service agencies, we solicit applications for beds and prioritize recipients based on need. Families selected to receive a bed also receive a complete set of bedding, including mattress, sheets, pillow, pillowcase, and comforter.

The SHP model was developed in the communities of Twin Falls and Boise, Idaho. Moved by a desire to serve as many children as possible, SHP began to branch out across the country, founding 12 new chapters
in 8 states in 2017. Through the initiative of motivated citizens, San Antonio became the 11th city to open a chapter of SHP and is now a model for dozens of newly established chapters across the country. Since 2017, our chapter has successfully established a committee of volunteers who manage build days, deliveries, applications, and social media; raised enough funding to purchase a trailer and necessary tools; and hosted three successful build days with community partners Raba / Kistner Engineering, Kingdom of Life San Antonio, and the Eagle Scouts. This year, we have built and delivered 46 bunk beds, helping 92 kids get off the floor.

We currently receive 6 bed applications per week, with an average of 2.3 kids per application. In total, we have received 260 applications for beds in 2018 for nearly 600 children. As we continue to expand our network of referral partners, we anticipate the number of applicants to drastically increase. According to Kids Count, 22% of children in San Antonio live in crowded housing, and up to 26% live in families with
incomes below the federal poverty level.5 To efficiently respond to the evident need in our community and continue to get the word out to help more kids, we need to bolster our efforts to engage volunteers in getting kids off the floor, and into their very own beds.
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Jessica Huedepohl
San Antonio, TX
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Inc (Shp)
Registered nonprofit
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