Posted Date: 04/29/2021
Oklahoma schools to get $9.78 million for students facing homelessness
Oklahoma public schools are about to get additional federal funds to help serve students facing homelessness.
Myriam Puelo and Maureen Hogaboom are the homeless liaisons for Union Public Schools. Along with coordinating resources, the pair field referrals from district employees concerned about students who might not have a stable home to go to.
As both Puelo and Hogaboom pointed out, “homeless” under the act’s terms is not limited to students who are living in shelters, under a bridge or on the streets. A student who is on their own and their parents or legal guardian is out of the picture for any reason, including incarceration, death, or disownment also qualifies as homeless.
“Every district in the nation is reinventing this program because it’s taken on a whole different meaning,” Puleo said. “Families who’ve never been homeless are homeless. Families who’ve never had a loved one really sick or school closing down or being on virtual — something totally new.”