Waco residents toured the recently opened teen nurturing center for homeless Waco ISD students while offering free snow cones to attendees on Friday.
Those attending visited the facility and some donated to the center that is expected to served up to 40 students at a time. These students who don’t have a parent or a guardian in their life or a stable place to live, will be able to do their homework, get a home meal and have access to laundry and shower facilities. In addition, case workers will be there to do individualized work for them at the building in the 2200 block of Washington Avenue.
Member of the Cove Board of Directors Rosemary Townsend said it is important for members of the community to learn more about this center.
"Homeless students tend to fly under the radar. When people find out there are 1,600 students in this community, they think it's unbelievable we have that many students in that situation," Townsend said.
At Waco ISD, there were 1,607 homeless students at the end of last school year. In high school, there were 285 homeless students and 97 of them were unaccompanied, which means they didn't have a guardian at the time.
According to Townsend, several former homeless students told the board of directors of the need for a place like the Cove.
"They told us that more than anything, resources are critically important, but what's even more important than that, is a group of caring adults that believe in them, that care for them, will talk to them about their dreams and ambitions, and help them make a plan to achieve those things," Townsend said.
The center will initially serve students in the afternoon but later on, it will also be open in the morning for students in a credit recovery program. The primary goal of the center is when students graduate, they will be prepared for employment, training programs or higher education.
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