LOS ANGELES - Beloved Watts community activist 'Sweet' Alice Harris is announcing a huge partnership and outreach to get computers and reliable internet access to homeless students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Her organization, Parents of Watts, along with advocates from Homeless after America are joining forces with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the LA School Police.
The officers will be the "boots on the ground," providing the manpower needed to find and identify homeless students, ensure they have devices, and can connect to WiFi so they can attend their virtual classrooms.
The LAUSD does have a Homeless Education office. It released this statement to FOX 11:
"Los Angeles Unified serves about 15,000 students who have self-identified as homeless, including those whose families live in shelters, motels and hotels or cars, or who are sharing housing with other families because of economic hardship. The actual number is likely much higher as families may feel stigmatized by their situation or may not realize they can qualify for resources and services."
"We currently have about 175 Student Health and Human Services counselors working to support families who are in temporary housing, as well as foster youth and juvenile justice students. Services include help in enrolling children in school and overcoming barriers to attendance and achievement. These counselors are working remotely due to the pandemic, but are still collaborating with school staff to identify families experiencing homelessness and connect them to resources and services."
"These resources include computer devices and wifi hotspots, which are available to all Los Angeles Unified students who need them. Parents can request technology or other supports by calling their child’s school the district’s Helpline at 213-443-1300. Families experiencing homelessness who need other supports can call the Student Health and Human Services hotline at 213-241-3840."
FOX 11 found that some students don’t even know about the hotline. The coalition of homeless advocates and law enforcement officers say they will proactively reach out to the families to ensure they get the help they need.
For more information go to parentsofwatts.org.