Houston County Homeless Families in the Hundreds

There are 600 homeless kids living in Houston County, but their homeless situation isn’t what we see on the streets or in movies.

“Doubling up” is the term Houston County School Board uses when two or more families are living in the same home.

Job cuts, family tragedies and bad times have taken a toll on hundreds of families in Middle Georgia. Struggling families and students are moving in with relatives, living in motels or staying at shelters while trying to get back on their feet.

“When you lose everything that you have there’s no way for you to gain it back, it does something to you. It takes something away from you.”

Shirley Ray lost everything she owned when her two-story home was struck by lightning and caught on fire. With no place to go, she and her son checked into a motel.

Ray and her 13-year-old were able to get back on their feet with some help from the Houston County School Board of Education.

Dr. Shirley Randall says this is an issue impacting families across the nation, but it’s important to keep the student where they were originally enrolled.

“They get the same academic support, they get to participate in any extracurricular activities and across the board they compete and do as well as any other student.”

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, children have the right to go to school no matter where the family lives and they must be given the same public education.  Children also have the right to continue in the school they attended before becoming homeless.

Categories: Local News

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