My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership Of Frederick County , Frederick, MD, USA
Four years ago, a young lady who was a part of the mock trial team at the high school I coached had to make the difficult decision to leave her family home due to an absolutely toxic environment. This was my first direct, personal experience with homelessness among students.
Three years ago, I served on a team of local leaders on a project for SHIP to determine the feasibility of a mentoring program.
These contacts with SHIP and the population they serve helped me understand something that I think most people don't understand. Student homelessness is real, it is a significant problem in ALL of our schools (yes even the wealthier ones). Frederick has 10 high schools and all of them (and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them) have students who are living in a homeless situation. Homelessness among students knows no socio-economic boundaries. Even in a county as relatively affluent as Frederick County, MD, more than 800 students are homeless.
As you might imagine, students experience homelessness have significant school attendance problems, are less likely to do well in school when they do attend, may have difficulty getting to school, and because they don't know where they will be sleeping that night, may be forced into changing schools regularly.
SHIP is leading the way looking for solutions to this problem. While we focus on Frederick County, our work is being studied around the state and the region.