Homelessness has always been a problem but the definition of a homeless school kid has now changed to include multiple families under one roof and families moving in with other family members.
The changes in the definition and the economy have added up to larger numbers of homeless kids; it’s a problem schools are working hard to handle.
"We have 115 students classified as homeless in Bristol, Virginia public schools,” Assistant Superintendant Rex Gearheart said. “That’s for all our schools Pre-K through 12 and it is a number that is increasing. It is a concern for us."
Law enforcement officials blame a major portion of the problem on single parent families caused by drugs and alcohol, saying it has caused a decline in family stability. "I am an example of the unconditional love a mother has for you,” Bristol, Virginia Police Chief Bill Price Said. “But you know, God never meant for a mother to be the sole person to raise these children. It took two people to create them and it takes two people to raise them. One mother and one father, no other denomination there. One mother and one father."
Bristol, Tennessee has also seen a rise in homeless families saying they have over 20 this year.
"What they do is they take them in and make sure they have a place to stay,” Community Liaison Rigby Kind explained. “It’s a coalition of local churches. They take turns letting the families stay in the churches a week at a time and take care of their food needs as well as a place to stay."
For more information about how you can help, contact Rigby Kind, Community Outreach Liason, at (423) 652-9237.