Letter to the Editor

Reader shocked by number of homeless students

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dear Editor,

In your issue of November 21, 2015, I read an article on the front page headlined "Volunteers needed for charity Thanksgiving meal." In that article is the statement: "According to Superintendent Richard Atwill, Blytheville Schools have 298 homeless students."

I was shocked. Where are these 298 kids staying? I don't see 298 kids, plus at least some parents, out on the streets. The Haven and the Mississippi County Union Mission provide shelter for some, but they are not large enough for 298 young people. That's twenty classrooms full of kids!

If this community really has 298 homes students, they need a lot more help than just a Thanksgiving dinner. I am asking the Courier News to look into this situation and publicize this need, and asking the churches of this community to do something. Surely the school system is providing some help, such as free meals, but it is not the school system's job to provide a home. Where are they finding shelter on cold nights, or a place to do homework, or a place to keep themselves and t heir clothes clean? Who is helping these children? What more can be done?

Or was this all a typographical error?

-- Eileen Thurman