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The Silent Epidemic

Bus photo

The homeless no one wants to talk about

While many kids look forward to going back to school, others dread it, especially if he or she is homeless. Some live at the Nashville Rescue Mission, some live with friends or family, others in motel rooms and some even in cars—all have one thing in common—no place to call age kids

How Many Kids are Homeless?
Each year, more than 1.5 million of the nation’s children sleep somewhere other than their own home. In Tennessee, there are over 16,500 homeless students—2,000 of those are in Nashville/Davidson County.
Not only are these kids homeless, they also endure a lack of safety, comfort, privacy, reassuring routines, adequate health care, uninterrupted schooling, sustaining relationships and a sense of community. As they prepare to go back to school, there are numerous challenges. How will I get the supplies I need for school? How can I find a quiet place for homework in this shelter? What if the kids at school find out I am homeless and make fun of me?
“Having a new backpack and the right school supplies can make all the difference in the world to a student who is homeless.”
Breaking the Cycle 
Education is the key to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. The link between education and income is one of the most transparent relationships in back to school adeconomics and is the clearest route out of poverty and homelessness.
“While we might not be able to change their situation, we can provide them with the tools they need to go back to school, get a good education and hopefully break the cycle of homelessness they are in,” said Mary Crutcher, Director of the Family Life Center. “We need your help in providing more than 80 backpacks for the upcoming 2011/12 school year.”
Consider these kids as you shop for back to school items. It may seem small, but your donation can help them feel more secure as they go back to school.


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