Helping a thousand plus local homeless students

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – The Muscogee County School Board revised its homeless policy Monday to show that homeless children have free access to education.

Some parents say the policy, coordinated with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the state of Georgia, breaks down barriers and is helping kids succeed in the classroom. The federal law mandates that students must have access to appropriate public education and be given the opportunity to meet state and local education standards.

Tonya Scarberry, a single mother two, and Fienisha Collins, a single mother of four, live at Damascus Way, a homeless shelter dedicated to helping mothers get back on their feet.

Since entering the shelter nearly four months ago, Collins has landed a job and purchased a car. Scarberry has one year left before earning her nursing degree.

For both women, education and providing stability for their kids remains their top concern. In Muscogee County, out of the 32,000 students currently enrolled, 1,017 of them are either homeless or living without parents and 60% of them are eligible for reduced and free lunches.

The school system has always had a policy that helps homeless students succeed by removing all barriers preventing them from receiving an adequate education.