5Cities Homeless Coalition would like to extend a very gracious thank you to New Life Community Church for their recent donation of 400 backpacks and school supplies – a donation which will significantly impact the lives of homeless youth in South County San Luis Obispo.
The Lucia Mar School District is the largest district in all of San Luis Obispo County and serves students who attend Lucia Mar’s eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, and one continuation high school. Currently there are 1,400 homeless students in the Lucia Mar School District including 150 unaccompanied youth. Unaccompanied youth is the term used to define homeless youth under the age of 18 who do not have a parent or guardian. In this case, parents sometimes abandon the home or youth run away due to an unsafe environment. Unaccompanied and homeless youth are so focused on their basic needs such as where they will sleep each night and when they will be able to take their next shower that when handed a perfect starter-kit for the new school year, it is a blessing.
Lucia Mar’s Families in Transitions (FIT) program plays an important role in the lives of homeless students because their extensive program ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. The program helps students with school supplies, food, school transportation and much more. FIT provides a safe and stable support system for homeless students to remain successful in school. FIT will begin to distribute the backpacks at the end of this summer.
The donation of backpacks and school supplies will be going to homeless students who are most at-risk with the fewest resources to prepare for school. Students who have no means of getting a backpack or school supplies will take priority, followed by students who have had the same backpack for multiple years which is now falling apart.
When we spoke with the District Coordinator, Linda Pierce, she ended with a simple thought: “You should see their smile when they get handed a simple backpack in perfect condition—it makes their day.”
Thank you New Life Community Church for bringing a beautiful smile to the faces of 400 homeless students this year!!