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Las Vegas outreach program helps homeless students amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 8:14 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 11:37:31-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the pandemic continues, help for local families was put back into play when Gov. Steve Sisolak extended the state's eviction moratorium. However, many students across Clark County School District still face homelessness, and one Las Vegas program is trying to help.

Title I Hope is a homeless outreach program. Their goal is to give students the tools they need so they don't have to leave their homes and their classrooms behind.

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Since the pandemic started, educators and advocates have worried about a "COVID slide," where students would suffer academically because of time away from the classroom.

Data released earlier this month by the Nevada Department of Education shows the negative impacts have been disproportionately felt by historically underserved students, including many students who may be in homeless situations.

Title I Hope is trying to help students with that first step by at least getting them enrolled in school. They also help provide backpacks, clothes, and school supplies. They can even help students find personal documents they may not have.

"I think it's really important to reiterate, this community, and communities around the world, are struggling," said Meg Pike with Title I Hope.

"The economy is not what it was a year ago, or 2 years ago," she said, "and it's going to take a while to get back to where we were at."

A lot of people may think that a homeless person is somebody who is in a shelter or on the street, and that's certainly the case, but there are two other categories where students can qualify for the Title I Hope program.

A student qualifies if they are "doubled-up," meaning they're temporarily living with another family after being evicted or kicked out of their home.

A student also qualifies if they are living in temporary places like weekly hotels.

"If you end up in a situation where you end up in a transitional housing situation, and you need assistance, please don't hesitate to call our office," said Pike.

Every school in the district has a designated Title I Hope to advocate for their campus.

Parents can call the school directly to get in contact.