Very grateful to The Herald-Times for their editorial this week calling for new solutions to support children and youth needs for stable housing.
It was an awesome effort by generous donors, allowing the PTO to put together holiday-break packages as well as care packages of basics and essentials that will be given to the students monthly until summer.
Donations included a wide variety of personal care items, including soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste; school supplies; nonperishable food items; and cold-weather clothing such as hats and gloves. The outpouring was an example of people helping people, a shining illustration of the spirit of the season.
As the story noted, in the 2015-16 school year, the MCCSC reported to the Indiana Department of Education a total of 245 students who were homeless. This doesn’t mean they were living on the streets, but rather that they lived with friends or extended family members; in a shelter or transitional housing; or in a hotel or motel. They didn’t have a home to call their own.
Strategies to address the homelessness issue must continue to stress moving families as well as individuals toward self-sufficiency. Jobs and job training are important components, as are affordable housing, health care, transportation and food security.
These numbers should be shocking and unacceptable to a caring community. Bringing them front and center will hopefully provide a needed new perspective and urgency to finding solutions.