Waco homeless teens celebrate graduation with non-profit that he - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Waco homeless teens celebrate graduation with non-profit that helped them


Some homeless teenagers in our area celebrated a milestone Tuesday alongside the non-profit organization that helped them reach graduation.

"We are here celebrating the graduation of, I think, three of our kids," said David Brennan a board member with The Cove, a Waco non-profit that just finished its first year helping homeless teens.

"It got started because of the demand within the Waco ISD district, but this is not a problem that's unique to Waco ISD," Brennan said.

Brennan said The Cove provides a place for homeless teens to do their homework, eat meals and take showers after school before they go to where they stay overnight. He said the volunteers from several professions, including the medical and banking fields, help the teens with health issues and life skills.
More than 285 high school students were homeless in the Waco Independent School District for the 2015-2016 school year, according to The Cove website.

"If we can give them a place to stay during the day, get their homework done in a safe, clean environment, experience dinner time and meals, shower and just relax in a very comfortable environment that's what they've not getting," Brennan said.

Rachel Freeman, 19, is one of the teens who celebrated her high school graduation Tuesday at the facility on Washington Avenue in Waco.

"It's been a hard road this past year, but I'm doing what I gotta do to get where I have to go," Freeman said.

Freeman said she became homeless after getting into drugs, dropping out of school and leaving home a year and a half ago.

"I've done a lot of things that I'm not too proud of," Freeman said.

She said she did all that because she has had to deal with a lot of loss in her life, especially within the past few years.

"Losing two people that really meant a lot to me back to back, it really kind of, it broke me, you know what I'm saying, and then I had a friend, you know what I'm saying, who said try this. I do. It makes me feel numb and I loved it," Freeman said.

Now, however, she said she loves the way the people at The Cove make her feel.

"I'm happy to see that they're happy for me, you know, it shows that they really care," Freeman said.

Freeman said she hopes to go to McLennan Community College in the fall to purse a career in counseling those with drug and alcohol addictions.

The Cove website said less than 25 percent of homeless students in Texas and across the U.S. graduate from high school.

If you would like to volunteer with The Cove, or donate to the organization, go to its website.

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