Shelter Program for Families in Temporary Housing

How the Program Works

Putting pen to paper is a much different process from speaking。 Museum writing teacher and board member Judith Hannan explains, “When you write, you stand next to yourself。 This remove allows you to go deeper into your feelings。 The women access aspects of themselves through writing in ways that can be comforting rather than overwhelming。”

Finally, the women read their words aloud。 In 15 minutes, they have created stories that not only make their lives a little more understandable to them, but to the others as well。 Selected works are included in a booklet published annually by the Museum。 In 2016, NYC’s First Lady Chirlane McCray honored the program by crafting the introduction。



Selected Poetry

The poems below were written at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan by women from the Clinton Family Inn (Homes for the Homeless) in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.


Hope came here but didn’t knock hard enough. She became my enemy because of the rude awakening She wasn’t there…She left me when I most needed her. I think to myself she must have had on boots ‘cause she walked out of my life, like my dad did, too. I hope if you find her, tell her she’s the one I was looking forward to meeting. Hope came here but she didn’t knock hard enough.


She’s been through hard times
And still she stands.
She may stand alone,
But don’t be fooled.
She’s still here, strong.
She has loved and lost,
Has seen death before her very eyes.
A mother, a daughter
A woman standing tall.