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Community comes together to end student homelessness in Hickman Mills district

Posted at 7:27 AM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 08:43:06-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On top of doing homework and other stressors from school, some students don't know where they’re going to sleep at night when temperatures get this cold.

It’s an unsettling reality for many students and their families across the metro.

Last school year, the Hickman Mills School District had a little less than 500 students classified as homeless.

“When you think about the students and the children that are out there — and not to negate any of the adults that are out there — but the children that are out there, there's nothing that they can do on their own in order to really resolve those issues," Blue Hills Church Operations Director Mark Evans said. “It just breaks my heart to know that children are having to deal with that when they're in class with others who have a warm place to live.”

The district has teamed up with organizations such as Avenue of Life in Kansas City, Kansas, and L.I.F.T at Blue Hills Church to end homelessness among its students.

“The district is a hub for most of our families so when they're experiencing any type of adversity, we're the first people that they call." Hickman Mills Student Service Specialist Leslie Washington said. "So it's really important for us to be able to refer them to places or help them get the resources that they need.”

They've created Impact Hickman to end homelessness and help students focus on their education.

The goal is to create a one-stop shop for families and provide various services.

“We'll be able to take care of things in weeks, versus months, and that makes a huge difference for families and students to be able to have that stability,” Washington said.

Right now they’re looking for community partners to help create that one-stop shop.

Some of the services needed include:

  • Child care
  • Case management
  • Food preparation
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Utility assistance
  • Financial resources
  • Employment services
  • Immigration services
  • Legal assistance

The Call to Action meeting is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Blue Hills Church located at 10306 Blue Ridge Blvd. KCMO, 64134.