Homeless/Highly Mobile (HHM)

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“People really want to help but they don’t always know how,“ a private donor said to me early in September.  Representing a group of Mora residents, she delivered tissues, bottled water, cough drops, and cash for the Homeless Highly Mobile ALC students. 

Imagine facing homelessness as a youth, staying in 2 or 3 different homes a week, coming to school for warmth and regular meals, having uncertain transportation to work and school, and having to navigate available resources and systems oftentimes without a dependable parent. These students are real, and they are labeled Homeless or Highly Mobile (HHM) within our schools.

This fall, I had the opportunity to help a student purchase a copy of his birth certificate. He needed documentation for a new job and a bank account for the required direct deposit. The lack of these documents, that so many of us take for granted, creates huge roadblocks for an unaccompanied youth without a disposable income. So for the people out there who “really want to help but don’t always know how,” let me make a few suggestions:

* Donate your time or expertise. These students are trying to find their way through a very complicated system. How do you get health insurance? How do I determine my Social Security number? What is available for county resources and how do I access them? How do I do my tax return?

* Donate food, money, blankets, and hygiene supplies to the student managed food shelf “Food for Friends”. HHM students and other students in need access this convenient resource regularly during the school day.

* Donate luxuries like tissues, cough drops, and bottles of water, hand sanitizer, school supplies, and young adult books to the Mora ALC.

* Consider providing scholarships for these students. These could be used for a variety of things such as: Behind the Wheel Training, a security deposit on an apartment, college enrollment expenses, winter apparel, or purchasing legal documents.

Thank you to our past donors and scholarship providers! Thank you in advance to others that find a way to support these students! A helping hand now can change a student’s life long-term…. A reliable food source, a driver’s license, a social security card, a relationship with a caring adult, these are all game changers for HHM youth.

For more information, call the Mora Alternative Learning Center at 320-679-6250.

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