With about 550 students in the Gadsden County School District classified as being homeless, there is a need for warm coats for the winter.
Homeless Education, a program under the district’s Parents’ Services, is looking for help to provide coats for these less fortunate students whose ages range from four to high school age.
Each student in the district is sent home at the first of the school year with a form to determine if they qualify as a homeless student, coordinator Sherrie Taylor said.
Taylor added that forms were also given to students this year at the Book Bag Give-Away where they were able to determine several hundred students qualified as homeless.
According to the state guidelines, any student who meets the following criteria is deemed homeless:
• Lack fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence
• Share housing (due to loss or hardship)
• Live in hotels, motels, trailer homes, campgrounds, emergency or transitional shelters, abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care
• Primary nighttime residence not designed or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation
• Live in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations.
• Unaccompanied youth (youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian)
• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because of their living situation.
“We are asking for help with buying coats for these children,” Taylor said.
If you would like to purchase a coat or have a slightly used coat that you would like to give to this cause you are asked to contact Gwendolyn Warren or Amber Baker, homeless consultants for the district, at 850-627-9651 ext. 1494, or drop the coats off at the Gadsden County district office, 35 Martin Luther King Blvd., Quincy.
Sizes can range from children’s extra small to extra large.
The deadline for the coats will be December 16 with plans to give the coats away on December 22 at 3 P.M. at the National Guard Armory on Pat Thomas Blvd. in Quincy.
“Whatever anyone gives,” Taylor said, “we will use.”