Weekly Links for Resources and Solutions for the Homeless (Children): 4/20/2011

In these weekly posts about homelessness, I will be spotlighting separate problems or populations of the homeless. Today’s links are about the need of helping children be able to continue in school. I’m sure everyone’s heart goes out to children caught in the maze of homelessness.

1.  “Over 1,000,000 of students in America (the land of the free) are homeless. The Washington Post reports that Fairfax County has over 2000 students who are homeless. In this video, Landis Brewer is featured and talks about Alternative House. It is a shelter and counseling center for homeless and abused children and teens.”

2.  Homeless Students in Seminole County, Florida Struggle for  an Education:

“CBS’s “60 Minutes” dedicated a recent segment to the nearly 1,000 homeless youths living in Seminole County, Fla. There, local schools have provided a variety of programs to help kids through rough times, from bus routes that make stops at the motels where they live to specialized programs that emphasize social and emotional learning.”

“Beth Davalos, who runs the homeless student programs in Seminole, told CBS correspondent Scott Pelley that five to 15 new homeless students enroll every day. She said that they’re struggling, not just because of their living conditions but because of how long the insecurity lasts.”

3.  College Students Hide Hunger, Homelessness by Gloria Hillard:

“Antonio Sandoval, head of UCLA’s Community Programs Office, says he doesn’t have the exact number of students experiencing the day-to-day hardship of food and shelter because they often keep it hidden.”

“It’s very affluent here, it’s Westwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills,” Sandoval says. “Students who come to UCLA want to fit the norm here, so they’re not going to tell you they’re homeless, or they’re not going to tell you they’re hungry.”

“Just down the hall from Sandoval’s office is an unmarked door. Inside is a converted utility closet filled with food. There’s a refrigerator stocked with fruit cups, yogurt, juices and milk. Next to the fridge is a pantry.”

“It has a lot of soups and main meals you can cook like macaroni and cheese,” explains Abdallah Jadallah, a 22-year-old engineering student.”

“Jadallah says he got the idea for the food closet after noticing a number of students were going hungry. All of the food is donated, and sometimes students leave comments in a notebook for Jadallah to read: “Thank you so much for the food and small items like soap and shampoo. It really does make a difference in my life. God bless you all.”

4.  Enrollment Surges at Schools for Homeless Students by Michelle Anderson:

“When Sarita Fuentes thinks of homelessness, she doesn’t conjure the stereotypical image of a disheveled older man pushing a shopping cart through an urban neighborhood—she thinks of her students.”

“What I see are these babies—elementary school children and their siblings,” said Ms. Fuentes, the co-principal and CEO of Monarch School, a San Diego-based, public K-12 institution that exclusively serves homeless students.”

“Begun by the San Diego County Office of Education as a drop-in center for homeless high school students, the 170-student Monarch School is now a public-private partnership between the San Diego Board of Education and the nonprofit Monarch School Project. It’s one of a small number of schools across the country that serve students affected by unstable housing conditions. These schools, along with other schools nationwide, are seeing a growing number of students who are homeless.”

“Experts say the economic recession has exacerbated youth homelessness, and schools serving this vulnerable population are now being challenged to keep up with the students and offer the unique services to which they are entitled under federal law. According to a 2009 reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader released by the National Center on Family Homelessness, an average of one in 50 children in the United States has experienced homelessness, which is defined as not having a stable, long-term place to stay. This ranges from children temporarily living with extended family members to living in homeless shelters or inside cars.”

Photo credit.

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