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Student homelessness on the rise in Kansas City metro

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 17:50:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The Hickman Mills C-1 School District is asking for the community's help in solving what's become a growing problem in schools metro-wide.

In Hickman Mills schools, elementary to high school, more than 500 students are considered homeless.

"Last school year was the highest that our district had and our district was steadily climbing," said Leslie Washington, Student Service Specialist, Hickman Mills C-1 School District.

The numbers were so startling, it prompted a call to action meeting on Wednesday.

"There's a need in the Hickman Mills School District and we need the community to come around this need," said Washington.

Together, schools, non-profits, and faith-based organizations have formed 'Impact Hickman Mills,' a team full of resources to help eliminate the problem of homelessness in schools.

"Our goal is in three years, we'll be able to say we have no homeless students in our district and every student has permanent housing," said Washington.

Across town, the Center School District is facing the same issue. Last week, the district held a similar meeting. Some people in attendance were also present for the Hickman Mills call for action.

The Hickman Mills and Center School Districts will begin following a model they said is proven to work. In 2015, The Kansas City, Kansas School District had nearly 1,400 homeless students. They created an Impact Team and have been reducing the number ever since.

"Kansas City, Kansas is reducing the homeless students in the district and those children are being permanently housed," said Washington.

Starting in April, two Impact Days will be held on two Tuesdays each month at Blue Hills Church (10306 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO), where families and students will have access to a variety of resources. Impact Days will not take place in June or July.

A Collective Impact Forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Blue Hills Church.