PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Going back to school can be stressful for many students, especially if they are homeless and their families cannot afford school supplies.
A local organization is working to meet those needs and help students prosper.
“It may be hard to believe in 2017 in the Pittsburgh area we have 3,000 homeless children that we know about, and there’s probably more out there,” Pa. Rep. Mike Doyle said.
That’s why the Homeless Children’s Education Fund was created.
“One of the greatest needs was kids who were homeless did not have a backpack or materials and supplies to really function as other kids function in school,” Joe Lagana, founder of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, said.
In conjunction with UPMC, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund is making sure thousands of children have the supplies they need to head back to class.
“It’s really tough for a lot of schools, teachers and parents when kids need resources and they don’t have them, so this is a way of making kids feel valued and prepared for school,” Carlos Carter, executive director of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, said.
Buses were loaded with more than 2,200 backpacks full of supplies Friday. They will be driven and distributed to schools and students all over the area.
“We will continue to work to get resources to meet the needs of young people because they are the future, and we want them to be prepared and to go to school with a smile on their face, knowing they are ready to learn,” Carter said.