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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Knock Out Homelessness

Spotsy schools will hold an event to raise awareness about their homeless students. So far this year, school social workers are seeing more homeless kids than ever. This is especially troubling because homeless students in Virginia are more likely to drop out of school than any other group of students. About 16 percent of homeless students don’t finish high school or receive a GED. In Spotsylvania County, the dropout rate is 19 percent for students who have been homeless at any point during their education.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, families living in motels or doubled up are considered homeless. These are only families who are in motels or doubled up because they have no place to go and can’t afford another place. Families who live together to afford a bigger home or who stay in motels while waiting for a home to be built are not considered homeless under these definitions. While these families do not count under HUD definitions, they are counted by the DOE so the children can qualify for services to keep them in school and to try and reduce the dropout rates.

So on Friday and Saturday, you will have a chance to help these kids. There will be a 24-hour Camp Out, Rock Out, Knock Out Homelessness event from Friday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m. to Saturday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.

The event will feature music and information about local homelessness. Schools staff and local leaders will sleep “and experience first-hand what it’s like to sleep and eat in a one-room box with no kitchen.”

There will also be a schoolbus on hand, to collect supplies to help these students and their families.

Needed items include:

  • Nonperishable food
  • New clothing
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Soap or body wash
  • School supplies

The event will be at the Wal-Mart in Southpoint, near Massaponax.

For details, call 540/582-2480 or email ldolan@spotsylvania.k12.va.us.

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2011/10/24/knock-out-homelessness/