Homelessness brings about a variety of basic needs that require service assistance beyond what schools can offer.
Through the support of various charitable groups and social service agencies the Homeless Specialist tries to provide school supplies, school pictures, weather appropriate clothing, financial assistance, food, and holiday gifts to students in need, by either referral or by direct acquisition.
Companies and groups supporting the program:
The Cedar Rapids chapter of the Chrome Divas has been a blessing to the CRSD HOMELESS program. My name is Slayton Thompson, the “McKinney-Vento Coordinator.” Every school district has a local homeless education specialist that can help enroll children in school. I received a phone call from this group of trail blazers, and it was ON… they supplied our Homeless community with shelving, gas cards, clothing, meals….and the support is still coming in. They have made it possible to give out over a hundred backpacks and shelves to put them on. The donations will be used for people moving into the community that are unable to bring anything with them. There is an ongoing need for this support throughout the school year.
Grant Wood and Washington Volunteers
Grant Wood Volunteers
Pictured from the back, left to right is: Brandon McDaniels, Karla Westpheling, Addison Westpheling, Maya Altemeier, Sarah Altemeier, Liz Altemeier. In the front is Lance Maynard.
This group of Grant Wood Elementary and Washington High School volunteers assisted the Homeless Services Program by assembling the donated supplies into an orderly fashion and storing them on the shelves.
Rockwell Collins Administrative EfFectiveness Team
Donated School Supplies
Pictured above are members of the Administrative Effectiveness Team of Rockwell Collins that donated school supplies to the homeless services program. From left to right are the Rockwell Collins employees: Christy Haars, Carol Wonrau, Joni Richmond, Laurie Ambrosy, Cate Davenport, Pauline Nelson, Dixie Dahl, Connie Lander. On the far right is Joan Minney, the first Homeless Liaison for CRCSD, and Slayton Thompson, the current Homeless Specialist for CRCSD. In the center is Diana Thomsen, also from the Rockwell Collins AE Team. Members of the AE Team that were not present for the picture are: Maribeth Shanley, Linda Harrison, Shelby Morrison, and Ruth Bensmiller.
The Rockwell Collins Administrative Effectiveness Team (AET) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, once again collected more than 46 boxes of school supplies containing more than 5,400 items to help children in Cedar Rapids Community Schools that are either homeless or nearly homeless. According to Diana Thomsen, senior administrative assistant in e-Business, helping the community has been one of the Administrative Effectiveness Team’s goals and something they have strived to achieve each of the past five years.
“It’s a wonderful way to help our children gain their self-confidence and take pride in attending school with the right tools.” said Thomsen. “This also helps our teachers since many of them take money from their own pockets to cover the supplies that are needed.”
“We couldn’t have accomplished this without our extended Rockwell Collins family,” continued Thomsen. “We thank everyone for helping to make this drive so successful.”
School supplies were delivered in early August to elementary students at Polk and Taylor, the cities only year-round schools.
The Craftsmen’s Group
The Craftsmen’s Group
Pictured from left to right is: Eric Christenson(Polk Principal), Marv Steward, Ray Wilson, Slayton Thompson(CRCSD Homeless Specialist), and Denice Spencer(Polk Facilitator).
The Craftsmen’s Group is a non-profit agency that donates their time and money to various community projects. In the picture above they are shown handing a generous donation to Slayton Thompson for the Homeless Services Program.
Without this support many would feel at a disadvantage. Now they can feel they “belong” at school.
Last school year the Cedar Rapids Community School District identified 702 children who were homeless at some time during the year.
This number continues to grow each year. Donations allow us to provide school supplies as well as the basic necessities. The contributions from our program supporters contributes to stabilizing the students and offer support to their families.
Thank you for remembering our students!