EMMETT, Idaho — "This isn’t just an Emmett problem."
There are 2,457 students currently enrolled in the Emmett School District. About 50 of those students are homeless.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal program designed to give schools funding to support their homeless student population. The program defines a "homeless student" as any student who lacks a fixed and regular night-time residence.
COVID-19 has not eased the burden of homelessness, but the pandemic alone can't be blamed for the upward trend.
“We haven’t seen a rise of COVID numbers in our homeless students because we can’t specifically track it,” Dr. Isa DeArmas, Assistant Superintendent of Federal Programs, said. “We do have more homeless students this year than in years past.”
Due to the increase of homeless students, there is more of a need for donations, and anyone can help. The school district has an angel fund set up to help with needs that the McKinney-Vento act may not cover, such as new coats for homeless students or even students in need. Other items needed for the angel fund are but not limited to hygiene items, clothing, or food items.
During this time of year, warm clothes and boots are in higher demand. If you'd like to contribute to the angel fund, contact Amy Burrs, Emmett Independent School District’s McKinney-Vento liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.