Excerpts from the Myrtle Beach Herald
More than two-hundred homeless teens attend Myrtle Beach High School. Some live in tents at local campgrounds, abandoned by wandering parents. Some squat in abandoned buildings, without electricity, without running water. Some have after-school jobs, earning enough money to rent a room at a cheap motel. Others engage in a day-to-day search, “bumming nights” as they call it, from fellow students who have homes to go to.
“[Homeless] kids are ashamed of their condition,” said assistant principal Jane Roberts. “They might have two pairs of blue jeans, a couple of T-shirts and one pair of underwear.”
At the beginning of each year, students fill out the “McKinney–Vento” form, telling where they reside. Anyone not living in a “permanent” residence is considered homeless and is therefore eligible for free breakfast and lunch at school.
“After school, [the homeless] go hungry,” Roberts said.
Teachers and administrators volunteer their own contributions. The school maintains a food locker and a clothes closet for donated items.
Over Christmas [break], when school lets out for the holiday, homeless students will have to eat breakfast and lunch somewhere besides the school cafeteria. Teachers and administrators contribute [to them] out of their own pockets, “instead of buying so many presents for each other,” said Goings. “We put in together and do for the kids what we can.”
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