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Sharing Halloween Fun with Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Although Halloween is well known for its array of costume wearers and trick-or-treaters, a larger population often gets excluded from the fun. The following article offers a different perspective seldom considered during the Halloween season. 

Fall has made its way back this year, bringing excitement and kicking off the festive season for many American citizens. For some, the indication of the upcoming season could be changing leaves, and perhaps others witness the change in grocery store decor. Fall brings holidays as well, the most popular being Thanksgiving. Yet, there is one well-known holiday approaching that also brings much excitement: Halloween. 

When Halloween comes around, a person may see decorations throughout neighborhoods, advertisements for local haunted houses, candy distribution, and of course, trick-or-treaters. Though, for some, the cool breeze of late October brings a cruel reminder of what is to come in the cold months ahead.

With all the hustle and bustle that comes with this come-and-go holiday, it is crucial to keep in mind those who may not get the same experience. Halloween remains a well-celebrated occasion; in 2021, 65% of Americans celebrated the day. Although some may not care for the holiday, others may want to join in on the fun but cannot due to their current living conditions.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 15,763 people under 25 experienced sheltered homelessness on their own as unaccompanied youth. How does this statistic relate to Halloween, you may ask? Think about how many children are missing out on the simple pleasure of being able to dress up as whoever they want for a night. Suppose an unhoused child or teen may get to watch from afar but not participate. Halloween may not be a holiday of utmost importance, but it is a night of self-expression and indulgence of sweets. 

There is a way, however, that you and your community could help provide this fun experience for those who want to participate but think they can’t. Do you or someone you know have extra Halloween costumes sitting in storage, not in use? You can donate costumes to your local shelter for those who may not be able to afford one this year. Shelters in your area may also take donations of candy. Let’s make Halloween inclusive so that everyone can share a piece of this sweet holiday fun!

Sources: 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/243201/planned-halloween-participation-in-the-united-states/

https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/hud_no_22_022

https://sfpl.org/events/2022/10/22/social-halloween-costume-swap

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