Only On 6: Homeless Kids In The WFISD

Only On 6: Homeless Kids In The WFISD

There is a shocking number of homeless children in the Wichita Falls ISD.

It's such a big problem that the district, now has a full-time employee dedicated to helping those students.

There are more than 300 homeless kids in the WFISD alone, and that number could be upward of 500 before the year is out.

It's that fact and a grant, that allowed Homeless Liaison Debbie Gonzalez to go full time.

But she can't do it alone.

Which is where teachers, administrators, and even counselors like Southern Hills Diane Lockard comes into play.

"If they get here late we make sure to feed them, and dress them in the clothing they need, cause many times it been a rough morning and evening. And that makes them very agitated and irritated." said Lockard.

So all are trained, from the front office staff, to the teachers reading to kids in the classroom.

Because one they are identified help can begin.

"You can tell by their nails, and skin. They have puffy eyes, they are not eating properly, and not getting the nutritious amounts that they need." said Lockard.

So the first action usually begins with food.

"They're not picky. They eat what's on their plate and many times they want more."

Which is were Snack Packs come into play.

Brown paper sacks, sent home every Tuesday, to get these students through the week, since free breakfast and lunch is served at school..

It's a pilot program at Southern Hills Elementary, and it's already making a positive difference.

The sacks are filled with goodies like a food bar, Capri Sun, even pretzels.

Being full-time also allows Gonazlez to help families get in contact with organizations that can help them with other needs. School supplies, bills, medical and dental care, even transportation can be provided.

But even though it's free, help is not always wanted.

Because a lot of the time those students don't want to be identified.

Which has these "district angels" working even harder to be discreet, while making a big difference in the lives of these students..

"We want them to feel safe and secure." said Lockard

Because when those are met, the child can learn.