Inside look at south’s homeless population

Caitlin Deerwester, Opinions Editor

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Homelessness is a tragedy that some experience and could be made even more difficult if that person is a teenager in high school.
At South there is currently 15 homeless students. Homeless students are automatically enrolled upon filling out paperwork verifying their home situation and the amount of need they may need from the school.
Elisabeth Engler is our school’s homeless liaison meaning she works with and supports homeless families providing the care that they need.
“Once a student or family is identified as homeless, we reach out to them and make sure they have the supplies and necessities needed for school,” said Engler.
The school provides families that participate with bags of hope that contain nonperishable food items every week, with included toiletries if needed by the family.
Engler described the various programs of support the school has set up around the holidays, such as providing Thanksgiving ingredients as well as gift cards and provide Christmas gifts based on individual families wish list.
Principal Bob Yanello and Engler both described the instability that these students experience as one of the greatest challenges they face.
“There are certainly a lot of things besides academics that they must worry about, what meals will they get, where are they going to sleep; there can be a whole array of social and emotional things. How could you focus on school without those basic needs?” expressed Yanello.
If you or someone you know needs assistance reach out by contacting Mrs.Engler through her email [email protected] or by finding her in room 424.

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