dallas isd

Dallas ISD Helps Student Experiencing Homelessness

DISD helps students for Thanksgiving week and beyond.

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School isn't just a place to learn. For some Dallas Independent School District students, it's a place of stability.

"My school is one of the schools that serves the largest population of students that are living in shelters," Maple Lawn Elementary School Principal Oscar Aponte said.

Fifty-eight students at Aponte's school are classified as experiencing homelessness. For Thanksgiving, the Cathedral of Hope will provide more than 50 food baskets for families at Maple Lawn Elementary.

According to the most recent Point in Time Homeless Count, there was a rise in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Dallas, including children.

"We've had families call and say, 'I'm a single mom living in my car with two elementary school kids. I just want to be able to get a shower and bath myself,'" Dallas ISD Homeless Liaison Ashley Marshall said.

Dallas ISD's Homeless Education Program helped 4,400 students last year with school supplies, clothing, and counseling. The pandemic only increased the need.

"You're always iffy on asking for help," DISD mom Quiana McCloud said. "This is the one program I will say that will help you with no questions asked, no judgement, and they are genuinely there to help."

Marshall said being able to help is why she does the sometimes difficult job.

"Hearing those stories," Marshall said wiping a tear. "When parents, when they just say 'thank you.'"

For more information about the Dallas ISD Homeless Education Program, click here.

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