Members of Jeffco Schools IT services desk passed the hat for the Jefferson Foundation’s Homeless Services Fund.
“Since we don’t get the opportunity to work directly with students, we wanted to connect with those who could use a hand,” said Billie Wolfe, IT of user security. “We found out about the Jefferson Foundation’s Homeless Services Fund and pooled our money to buy grocery store gift certificates. It was very easy to write a check for the funds collected and get it to the foundation.”
Data show that the number of homeless students in Jefferson County Public Schools increased from 59 children in 2001 to 2,400 in 2010, and experts estimate that about 80 percent of all homeless residents of Jefferson County are children. The district’s homeless services department has provided services to 2,323 students in the current school year, with another semester still to come.
“These children are the hidden face of homelessness,” said Sheree Conyers, homeless liaison for Jeffco Public Schools. “They come to schools during the day, but in the evening their families are sleeping in cars, on friends’ couches, or in motels and shelters.”
“We started the fund with a seed grant of $2,000, hoping that community members and others would contribute, as well,” said Katie Tiernan, executive director of the Jefferson Foundation. “Donations like this allow the homeless services department to meet the immediate needs of struggling families — food, shelter, transportation, medical care — and lessen the impacts of homelessness on children.”
Tiernan noted an increase in the number of homeless students being served this year by the foundation’s Serving Kids clothing project.
To learn more about the Homeless Services Fund or the Serving Kids clothing project, or to make a donation to the Jefferson Foundation, visit www.jeffersonfoundation.org or call 303-982-2210.