BDS officials helping homeless student population
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Help. That’s what Bay District School officials are looking to do for their homeless student population.
“This school year students coming in and out of our homeless program for support. There was about 3,000 that we actually served,” Director of Student Services Kara Mulkausky said.
District officials want to emphasize being “homeless” does not just mean a student living on the streets. A “homeless” student is a student who meets the requirements under the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
“They’re displaced due to a natural disaster, or something like a global pandemic. They might be doubled up living with friends or relatives, couch surfing so to say. It could be they’re in transitional housing like shelters or hotels,” said Mulkausky.
They say when in a transitional living situation not knowing where you’ll live next means...
“Often students have to move quickly and they have to leave resources behind, what resources they have,” Title One Supervisor Eugenia Robinson said.
This oftentimes leaves students starting over with nothing. The PATHS team helps coordinate donations like supplies, clothing, food, or money.
During the first week of school, students will receive a housing questionnaire. On it, students can fill out their current living situation to help the district get a more accurate number of students who need help.
“The school is also able to help complete the forms with them,” said Robinson.
No matter what living situation you find yourself in, they said it’s okay to confide school officials.
“The school staff is there to help them and if they have a better understanding of what their current living arrangement is, we can help connect them to our PATHS team and get them the support they need to have stable education for the school year,” said Mulkausky.
A stable education that’s hoped for all Bay District School students as school quickly approaches.
District officials tell us they start every school year with zero students in the PATHS program. They hope to work towards seeing a decrease from last year’s 3,000.
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