The COVID pandemic has impacted all of us, some more than others. As anyone with school-age children knows, this has been an especially trying time. Imagine if you were homeless with school-age children - what would you do? How would you handle the challenges of educating your children when you don’t have internet access, much less even have a home? Stories of kids trying to navigate school under these conditions are heartbreaking. If they're going to make it, they'll need a hand from all of us.
Kirkland Parks & Community Foundation (KPCF) has a solution. We are partnering with the City of Kirkland and New Bethlehem Programs (NBP) in Kirkland’s Women & Families Shelter to provide educational support for these children. NBP is hiring an Education Coordinator to work with the families, students and school districts to help ensure these kids are successful with online learning.
Together, we are seeking to raise $54,000 from the Kirkland community to cover the salary for the contract Education Coordinator. This new Coordinator will work with dozens of families who are utilizing NBP services to provide guidance and organization so no student gets left behind. This critical role will enable kids at NBP to keep pace with school, so their parents can concentrate on work and securing full time housing.
This Coordinator will also help families transition back to in-person learning and provide much-needed educational activities for this population. The students at NBP range from newborn to 18 years old with the majority of school aged children in Kindergarten - 5th grade.
“Our family has 6 kids and it’s hard to give everyone the right help at one time without kids feeling like they are missing out or behind…especially with one of us working during the day. Our kids love school, but it’s a challenge to give them what they deserve without extra help.”
- Mother of family staying at New Bethlehem Place
So often we hear of programs for the homeless, with vague or dubious results. This is a rare opportunity to make a huge impact for local families. You can give a boost to these kids and improve their educational outcomes with a donation.
Learn more and donate here:
There are about 1.5 million homeless schoolchildren in the US. Learn more:
▪ What it’s Like to Learn Online from Inside a Homeless Shelter, Washington Post, January 3, 2021 ▪ What Homeless Students Have to Deal with to Go to School During COVID, Vice News, October 14, 20
▪ Children in the Shadows: New York City’s Homeless Students, NY Times, September, 9, 2020
Founded in 2015, the Foundation’s goal has been to be the voice for the community, enabling its people to raise funds for projects that have clear community support and contribute to their overall well being. KPCF is an independent organization that works in conjunction with, but separately from the Kirkland Parks Department and the City of Kirkland. For more information visit www.kpcf.org
Jonathan Heuer, KPCF President
Dana Nunnelly, KPCF Vice President