Record Number of Homeless Kids in AISD - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Record Number of Homeless Kids in AISD

Melissa Chapman, AISD Homeless Liaison Melissa Chapman, AISD Homeless Liaison
Carla Plischke, AISD Social Worker Carla Plischke, AISD Social Worker

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - The Amarillo ISD is calling it scary... They've never seen this many homeless children enrolled in school.

There are now nearly 900 homeless students in AISD. That's almost twice as many as there were this time last year.

The district's Homeless Liaison Melissa Chapman says, "They face problems that no child should have to worry about. Where they're going to find their next meal. Where they're going to sleep that night. How they're gonna get to school the next morning. They have a huge burden."

To help ease some of that burden, the district homeless liaison program is supplying the students with supplies to help get them through the year... Everything from markers to notebooks to backpacks and even a few sets of clothes.

Most of these children are homeless because their parents recently lost their jobs and can't find new ones. One of the district's social workers, Carla Plischke says, "We also have people that live in their cars. There's a family of four to five kids and they just stay in the Wal-Mart." 

Others are living in hotels, storage sheds, homeless shelters or even on the streets. The district says they're working with a few teenagers who are fending for themselves... Barely scraping by living in a hotel room with several other people. 

Since many of these kids wouldn't eat if it wasn't for the school cafeteria, counselors make sure they're signed up for free breakfast and lunch.

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