Why are there homeless kids in Coweta?

There was an incredibly disheartening story in Sunday’s edition of The Newnan Times-Herald that should serve as a wake-up call in our county.

Approximately 250 local kids in the Coweta County School System are considered homeless.

Read that number again and let it sink in. And we’d guess that number is probably low.

Here we are in America, the most powerful and richest country in the world. Here we are in Coweta County, one of the fastest growing and progressive counties in the state.

And we have children who have no place to call home.

Most, fortunately, if we can go that far, are not literally on the streets, but they are as close to that as can be imagined. Cars, neighbors’ or relatives’ couches, tents in the woods, and multiple people in one motel room are what many are calling home.

“Many of the children are really distressed because they’re going from place to place to place,” said Derenda Rowe, executive director of One Roof Outreach. “They don’t have a room of their own anymore. They don’t have their own things.”

While the economy is slowly improving, the situation for the homeless is not. In years past, One Roof was able to place homeless families in motel rooms. Now, according to Rowe, there’s actually a waiting list to get a roof over their heads.

Last year, One Roof helped house 100 “situations,” as the placements are called. This year, they’ve already hit 75.

Things are not improving for the homeless here. And in the majority of these situations, moving from having a house to losing it is a paycheck away. Divorce, job loss, accidents, health problems, any disruption can put a family on the streets.

We are extremely fortunate that in Coweta County there are many organizations and countless volunteers who are trying to address these and other similar issues. From domestic violence shelters and food pantries to medical clinics and education outreach programs and more, Cowetans step up.

It’s still not enough. More volunteers are always needed for a myriad of organizations too numerous to mention here whose sole purpose is to help the less fortunate.

No child in this county should be homeless. Consider donating to any of these worthwhile organizations. And if you really want to help change the situation, give one of the most precious things you have - your time.



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