How can YOU help homeless students
Unfortunately, a growing number of Rock County students are homeless. Fortunately, the Homeless Education Action Team is trying to help. Leaders have plans, but those come with daunting price tags.
HEAT hopes to open a transitional group home for eight to 12 students, ages 16 to 21. They estimate the cost at $1 million to start and run it for three years. HEAT also is working with Lutheran Social Services to provide temporary emergency shelter through licensed foster “safe homes.”
In last Sunday’s Gazette, columnist Anna Marie Lux talked to several of these teens. She also listed details of a benefit concert this Saturday night at the Marine Corps League on Beloit’s north side. And she listed 10 ways you can help, as detailed by HEAT.
We’ll share our perspective on HEAT’s efforts in our editorial Friday. What are those ways you can help? And what are the details of the benefit concert?
We do not post Lux’s columns online, but in case you missed them, I’m listing the details of the concert and 10 ways you can help below.
BENEFIT CONCERT A benefit concert to raise money to establish a shelter for homeless teens in Rock County will be Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Marine Corps League, 3807 S. Riverside Drive, Beloit. Five bands will play from 4 p.m. until midnight. Local bands include Dynamite Society with Zach Johns, Lex & Co., The Jamie Campbell Band, DEA with Renee Wood, and Kind of a Big Deal. Beloit residents Bob Parker and Jim and Linn Krafjack are organizing the event called “It’s Not Fine 16:49.” The documentary “16:49” highlights the plight of three homeless teens in Beloit and is raising awareness about homeless students. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. In Janesville, tickets are available at Fuddruckers, 3136 Humes Road; 27 West Appraisal & Estate SVC, 215 W. Court St.; and The Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St.
TEN WAYS TO HELP HOMELESS KIDS 1. Give teens a place to call home. Make the transitional living program a reality. Consider hosting a fundraiser, talking to your business, community group or place of worship about the capital campaign to raise funds for the transitional living program. Checks can be made out to Project 16:49 and mailed to ECHO, 65 S. High St., Janesville, WI 53538. Donations are tax-deductible. Donations also can be made online at project1649.org 2. Become a safe home for teens. E-mail Emily Tofte, Lutheran Social Services, at Emily.Tofte@lsswis.org for more information. 3. Pledge $16.49 a month to support safe homes for teens. Visit wix.com/reburgos/ 164900 to offer a pledge. Be sure to include the line “donation to cost center 1740” in comments to ensure your contribution will go to the safe homes program. 4. Become a mentor: In the Janesville area, call Gayle Hotchkiss for Connections mentoring at (608) 743-5831. In the Beloit area, call Robin Stuht for the Beloit Memorial High School Lunch and Learn program at (608) 361-3179. In Beloit or Janesville elementary schools, call the Lunch Buddies coordinator at (608) 362-8223. 5. Donate bus tokens, gas cards or retail gift cards to your local homeless education program. These gifts can provide transportation to school and basic needs for homeless children and teens. Call Stuht in Beloit at (608) 361-3179 or Ann Forbeck in Janesville at (608) 751-7779. 6. Volunteer at local shelters. Local shelters count on the support of volunteers. In the Janesville area, call the Volunteer Network at (608) 757-3058. In the Beloit area, call the Voluntary Action Center at (608) 365-1278. 7. Join the Homeless Education Action Team. E-mail email@example.com to be added to the e-mail list. 8. Donate to your local school district to help meet the basic and academic needs for homeless students. In Janesville, or for contact information in other communities, call Forbeck at (608) 751-7779. In Beloit, call Stuht at (608) 361-3179. 9. Help spread the word. Call Forbeck or Stuht and invite them to speak to your community group, place of worship or business. 10. Challenge stereotypes about the homeless. Forty percent of homeless people are children. Source: Homeless Education Action Team
Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter