Every week, at emergency shelters and transitional housing programs across DC, some 150 volunteers give children a much-needed opportunity: the chance to play. The Playtime Project nurtures healthy child development and reduces the effects of trauma by creating playrooms where kids can be kids playing games; exploring math, reading, and art; and eating healthy snacks. Meanwhile, parents have time to rest, run errands, and take classes. Monthly field trips introduce children to baseball games, the National Zoo, and the Smithsonian; seasonal parties give families opportunities to socialize and relax. Backpacks filled with games, books, and toys keep children engaged when they are away from the program. All the children are experiencing the trauma of homelessness, and some have also experienced domestic violence. These playtimes help restore comfort, safety, and joy. Won't you lend a hand?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide

Age Groups Served: Infants (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Awards & Recognition

2011 Community Impact Award from Greater DC Cares
2011 Partner Organization with Fair Chance


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Homeless Children's Playtime Project is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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