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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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December 26, 2012     The New Era Paper
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December 26, 2012
 

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ti= - December 26, 2012 VouR COMJ JNITV Page 9 From page 1 student lives with friends. Still others are from homes that simply fall apart due to par- ent behavior, student behavior, sibling prob- lems, teen pregnancy and other reasons that may drive a student to live with a friend. "Most of our (homeless) families are in shared housing," Pappin said, and that may explain why there is more of it showing up with younger children. While most are sharing housing with someone, including all of the younger ones, some have lost their homes, moved out or been evicted, Pappin said, perhaps because of job loss. Sometimes, parents lose their jobs in another city and return to Sweet Home to live with their parents, Pappin said. It may be a temporary situation, but anything tran- sient and unstable is counted. Some of them may be doing OK living with the grandparents, while others might be living in a shack, she said. The district collects information based on a form it requires from parents at the be- ginning of the school year, Pappin said. "My goal is to keep these kids in school so they can make their lives better, so they can get a job and be stable," she said. District 55 goes the extra mile tutoring the homeless students through Title I at the elementary level. The non-Title schools, the junior high District 55 receives a grant of $4,200 per and high school, receive extra help from the year, $16.87 per homeless student last year, district, through the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Education Coming up is an after-school homework Service District to specifically help home- club at the junior high, she said. An assistant less students, Pappin said. It pays some staff will always be available to help, and teach- time, and it can be used for transportation to ers are often around, extra help. At the high school, Peggy Rolph, the The district gives away clothing during secretary who works with homeless liaison registration and a clothing drive at the end of Heidi Lewis, is great at helping connect the the year to help fill the clothes closets, Pap- students to resources, Pappin said. pin said. The Elks have given supplies to the In the district, a clothes closet is avail- schools, including clothing. The Kiwanis able at each school and the Central Office, constantly provide shoes. The Chamber of and students can access the Food Pak pro- Commerce donated school supplies last year. gram for food over the weekends. The Food Pak program is well-supported by Pappin, Lewis and Rolph work together the community. to guide students to the Oregon Health Plan Individuals bring in all kinds of dona- and basic provisions, like soap, shampoo, tions to help out, Pappin said. The commu- clothes and food. nity is "pretty generous." Rolph also provides her own study hall, Pappin has sent out e-mails when stu- Pappin said. "She goes the extra mile help- dents have lost their houses, and the staff ing them." members have donated enough to provide If they aren't surviving, are lacking in complete homes. One family Was a victim of electricity, heat or even a place to sleep at Hurricane Katrina in 2004. When the family night, education becomes secondary and at- moved to Sweet Home, it had nothing, but tendance suffers, she said, and that's why through those donations, they were able to they help out. They want to make sure they furnish their home completely. receive the education they need to improve "This community is generous," Pappin their lives, said. Based on their efforts, some 42 to 50 "For the second year in a row, the num- percent of the secondary students are able to ber of Oregon students dealing with home- maintain or even improve their GPA despite lessness has topped 20,000," said state Dep- their homeless circumstances, Pappin said. uty Supt. Rob Saxton. "These numbers are Some of them are considered talented and a sobering reminder of the very real impact gifted, our economic situation is having on our stu- dents and families. "Homelessness affects all of us. The recent recession hit many of our families hard, and far too many of our students don't have the security of a permanent" home or a reliable next meal. Until our students' basic needs are met, they will not be able to fulfill their potential at school. "AI want to encourage everyone to do something extra this year to help our neigh- bors and fellow Oregonians. Our liaisons are doing an incredible job of supporting our homeless youth, but they cannot do it alone. If we are going to build the state we want for our kids, we must work together to end the cycle of poverty and give all of our students a shot at a bright and hopeful future." FARMERS INSURANCE Craig Fentiman, Agent FREE INVESTMENT REVIEWS. Theresa A Grimes Financial Advisor 1195 Main Street Suite 1 Sweet Home, OR 97386 541-367-5155 www.edwardjones.com Member SiPC iiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiiiiii~iii~iiiii~! i] iiiii/i i~ ,,,,,,,,~ i ' ~