Thanks to Deborah Myerson; Becky Rose, MCCSC Director of Student Services; and Elaine Guinn, New Hope Family Shelter, for providing this information.
Did you know that each year for the last three years, over 300 MCCSC students have been identified as homeless? In 2014-15, this included students who are doubled up (209), in a shelter (69), in a motel (33) or unsheltered (2).* One way that MCCSC supports these students is the Student Assistance Fund. This fund helps provide students with assistance for school clothing, shoes, coats, vision and dental emergencies, emergency prescription medication, lice and hygiene products, bus passes, and school supplies. In 2014, the SAF assisted students 1,139 times. While primarily funded through the United Way Agency, the SAF also accepts outside donations from area agencies and private donors. The best way to make a monetary donation: send a check made out to the "MCCSC School Assistance Fund" and mail attn: Becky Rose, Director of Student Services, Monroe County Community School Corporation, 315 E. North Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401.
Nearly every MCCSC school has students experiencing homelessness. Many of us may assume that these difficulties are in “another” part of town, but, in fact, this year Rogers/Binford has more homeless students than Templeton, even though it also has one of the wealthier PTOs. Among middle schools, Jackson Creek records more homeless students than either Tri-North or Batchelor. Throughout our community, students among us are in these circumstances.
Most needed supplies: MCCSC has a storage room to keep donated items such as coats, school supplies, and shoes. Most needed are new tennis shoes and/or snow boots for kids of all ages (grades K - 12, people often forget we have older kids in need too!). We have TONS of hats, gloves, scarves in storage, people tend to donate items such as knit gloves, because they are cheap. Our real need are more expensive items such as backpacks, coats, and shoes.
Also, many of our schools struggle with needing funds for healthy snacks for kids (it's a long day). Many kids can't bring their own snacks. However, SAF can't currently be used for food, so if anyone is interested in funding snacks, or food, they will need to work directly with the school.
To talk to someone about these opportunities for helping, please contact Becky Rose, MCCSC Director of Student Services, email@example.com or 812-330-7700 ext. 51004. Alternatively, one could also contact Karen Riggins, MCCSC Student Services Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 330-7700, ext: 52315.
*Figures from IDOE and Becky Rose/MCCSC, updated thanks to Elaine Guinn at New Hope Family Shelter.