Anoka-Hennepin District Helps Homeless Students During Pandemic
During these unprecedented times, students continue to do distance learning from the comfort of their own home.
But Jessica Jasurda, the Anoka-Hennepin school district homeless liaison, says we shouldn’t forget about the students who don’t have a home.
Jasurda says the school district has identified nearly 1,100 students that are homeless.
“We know that number may increase as families are experiencing additional economic stress as a result of reduction in hours and job losses,” Jasurda said.
Jasurda further explained that students without a stable home have increased barriers to participate in distance learning and limited access to technology.
“The second week of distance planning, all our staff returned and each student that we identified as experiencing homelessness received individual outreach from our student support staff to identify their basic needs and needs to distance learning.”
The Anoka-Hennepin Foundation has set up an agility fund to help the district ensure students are getting their needs met during distance learning.
The district has also coordinated meal deliveries to students across the district. Jasurda says the community can provide additional help in various ways.
“One thing I know for sure is we are stronger when we work together,” said Jasurda. “Folks can consider supporting any local organization that are working to ensure families and children have access to basic needs supports.”
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