SUMMIT, NJ - Just three years old when his big sister Aneshia was diagnosed with cancer, Prince was -- understandably -- at a loss as how how to help his sibling. Then, he decided he would grow his hair.
Then, in the middle of the crisis, Prince and Aneshia's family lost their home.
It is a well-documented fact that homelessness is especially traumatic for children – statistics show that they’re more likely to be placed in special education programs, repeat a grade, and become depressed, anxious, or suicidal. Nearly half of these children drop out of school at least once.
Prince’s family didn’t want brother and sister to become part of this dynamic, and they learned about -- and reached out to -- Summit-based national nonprofit Family Promise, which has become a leader in addressing the issue of family homelessness.
Family Promise helped them find a new home and achieve stability.
Tragically, Aneshia passed away two years ago, Family Promise raised money to cover funeral expenses... and Prince continued growing his hair.
Now -- on August 22 and nearly a decade since he last visited a barber shop --12-year-old Prince has decided to honor his late sister by cutting and donating his locks. He wants to make the occasion even more significant by spreading awareness of the crisis of family homelessness and raising money for Family Promise, the organization that helped him and his family when they had nowhere else to turn.
Of his decision to support Family Promise by hosting this event, Prince says, “Once we were homeless, and they helped us a lot, helped us find a house. I hope everyone comes.”
Prince is accepting sponsors for his haircut – he has already exceeded his fundraising goal of $1,000 - and Mike Tribuna from Luigi’s Barbershop in Union will offer haircuts to Prince’s supporters with proceeds going to Family Promise. All are welcome to join Prince, his family, and the community in honoring Aneshia’s memory and supporting the fight against family homelessness -- on August 22 at 7 p.m. -- at St. Michael’s Church, located at 40 Alden Street in Cranford.
Those who cannot attend can visit bit.ly/PrincesHaircut to make a donation.
Founded in Summit more than 40 years ago, Family Promise’s 200 affiliates across the country engage 200,000 volunteers, offering an innovative approach to addressing homelessness that keeps families together and gives them the skills and tools to achieve lasting independence.
The organization serves nearly 100,000 individuals each year. For more information, visit familypromise.org.