MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- For one Bibb County mother, spending money on small items like pencils and notebooks, is just one of her many struggles.
"I have to pray that my check is just enough so that I can get a roll of quarters... Just to get laundry done."
The mother we spoke with asked that we keep her identity a secret. Our Jane Doe is a single mom with three kids. Jane lives in an extended stay motel. She moved to Macon three years ago looking for a better life.
"After a very abusive relationship I had to leave, so my escape was to come here and start working in this area," said Jane.
Before this past August, Jane had been unemployed for a year. When her kids started school this year, she found herself in Keri Rowe's office at the Bibb County Board of Education, panicking. She couldn't afford uniforms, school supplies, or backpacks for her children.
"We want to make sure that if you have a need, and it's something that we're able to help you fill, then we want to make sure that we're there for you," said Rowe, Bibb County School District Homeless Liaison Coordinator.
She and her supervisor, Dr. Perdeda Dwight are 'Homeless Liaison Coordinators' for the Bibb County School District.
Through the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Program, and grant money, they provide uniforms, school supplies, and this year, free tutoring for families who don't have a permanent home.
"They may be living with family members... Maybe couch surfing. They also be someone who may live in a trailer that is not adequate," said Dr. Dwight, Bibb County School District McKinney Vento Coordinator.
If families are moving around the county, Dr. Dwight and Rowe work to keep them in the school they originally enrolled in, called the 'school of origin.' They also keep the kids' situation a secret. For instance, Rowe brings backpacks of supplies out to schools to make it easy on the parents, and the children.
"A lot of times the kids will take it home on the bus, so if it's in a backpack, they look like everybody else, they're not standing out for their situation," said Rowe.
"That was the best part. being so discrete with it. That was my main concern. I didn't want them to be teased, I didn't want them to be picked on," said Jane.
While Jane admits, it did hurt her pride to ask for help, the decision to reach out wasn't about her, it was about her kids, and it was worth it.
"It renewed my faith in humanity," said Jane.
While Rowe and Dr. Dwight cannot use the grant money to pay for food or clothing to help out family members who aren't in school, they do accept donations for those things, so they can help out families who need it in a pinch.
Rowe says in a lot of cases families lose all their belongings in house fires or evictions. She's always accepting donations.
If you'd like to learn if you qualify for McKinney Vento services, you can contact Rowe at 765-8633, or stop by the welcome center or your child's school.