homeless students to get drop-in center at Reno HS/cost: $4,000

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 19:42:36 -0800 (PST)

FWD   January 30, 1998   AP


RENO, NEVADA [USA] -- Going to high school can be tough. But for homeless
students, it is often unbearable.

School officials say there are an increasing number of students
who come to school during the day, but spend the rest of their time in
motel rooms, shelters or cars. Many of those students often drop out to
escape the scrutiny of their peers, advocates for the homeless say.

At Wooster High School, such students soon will have a place
they can go to to clean up and prepare for the day. A drop-in center,
equipped with two private showers and bathrooms and laundry facilities,
has been constructed with the help of other students and community volunteers.

About 1 percent to 2 percent of Nevada students are homeless,
officials say. In Washoe County, there were 829 homeless children as
of December. At Wooster, the number is estimated at 40.

"The older kids get, they feel more and more self conscious
about their living situation and their peers get more ruthless about
teasing them," said Shaun Griffith, director of the Homeless Youth
Education Office. "Schools remain the most safe and secure place that
they have to go during the day."

The idea for the center initially came from other students who
commented on their less-fortunate peers, Wooster Principal Serena
Robb said. Many wanted to help. Robb obtained a $4,000 state grant for
the project, and 34 tradesmen, builders and businesses donated labor and
supplies to complete the center.


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