One boy who is getting a merry Christmas

The other day Victor’s mom, Maria, called me and a slew of friends and family in the US and Mexico with joyful news.

“I got Section 8,” she cried, as excited as an actress winning an Oscar.

Section 8 is a federal program provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that sponsors subsidized housing for low-income families and individuals.

This means that in about 6 – 8 weeks Victor and his family will no longer be homeless.

They have been lucky in many ways. Not everyone in the shelter qualifies for Section 8. They also have been lucky just to be living in a shelter, which is far more preferable than living in a rundown motel, a car, or on the street. And not only have Victor and his family been living in a shelter, they’ve been living in a very well-run shelter that has provided domestic violence counseling, as well as educational, vocational and legal services, including the procurement of their Section 8 voucher that will soon provide them with the ability to make their final move out of homelessness.

Not every homeless child is so lucky. The National Center on Family Homelessness estimates that as many as 1.5 million children are considered homeless at some point during the year in the United States and fewer than half of these live in sheltered facilities.

But for Victor and his family, it will be a very Merry Christmas and I am grateful for that.