As the pandemic continues, more and more families are facing homelessness. But that isn’t stopping our local school districts and non-profits from making sure kids can still go to school.
There are many resources available to help kids with virtual learning -- even in the hardest of situations.
News Channel 3’s Madison Weil visited the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission (CVRM) to learn how one mother, Lilian Ruiz, is overcoming incredible challenges to ensure her child is staying on track with his education.
Ruiz is a single mother to two young boys. She’s been living at the Rescue Mission since last November. Her son Jacob just began Kindergarten virtually.
She says each day she’s been helping him log on each day from their room at the mission. “I guess you could say it’s brought us closer,” said Ruiz.
Her story is similar to many others in the valley -- trying to juggle helping her son with distance learning in the midst of a housing crisis.
“With social distancing right now, we have one mom with their children per room,” explained Chris Dentice, program manager at CVRM.
The mission has been helping kids temporarily living on site continue their schooling. “What we’ve done is made sure all the moms were able to get to the schools and get the Chromebooks and any of the school supplies,” said Dentice.
And our three local school districts say they too have resources ready for any student facing an uncertain housing situation. They say, unfortunately, those numbers are increasing with the pandemic.
“A lot of our families have gone through evictions or loss of jobs,” said Deanna Bretado-Chavez, Foster Homeless Youth Services, PSUSD.
She says that homelessness takes on many forms in our valley: “Families that are living in a doubled up situation, maybe a parent lost their job...a single mom and now she’s had to move back in with grandma..."
“We have seen families who live in tents, in cars or in hotels,” added Xochitl Velazquez, Foster & Homeless Liaison, DSUSD.
Local schools say they’re prepared to help. “I meet with parents over the phone and we talk about what it is that they need,” said Velazquez.
Our three local school districts offer not only free school supplies but also other needed items such as clothing or toiletries.
If you or someone you know is facing homelessness, don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher, school district or the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission to receive assistance.