SAN FRANCISCO — These are the commissioners of the San Francisco board of education, unanimously voting to approve a resolution that will help thousands of homeless students and their families.
The resolution directs funds to train staff and develop programs to help homeless students.
It will also begin the process for the school district to own land and develop affordable housing.
According to the McKinney-Vento Act, homelessness is defined by families living in a hotel or single room occupancy, doubled up in households, in shelters, in their car, or on the street.
Commissioner Matt Haney — who introduced the resolution — says the city must address the growing number of homeless families.
“We have over 2,000 students in San Francisco who are homeless. That would fill up over 120 classrooms and what we know is that we all have to do more and do better by these students.”
Prior to the approval, educators, community members, and families addressed the board in support of the resolution.
Mary Jane Rodriguez Zambrano is supporting the proposal, because as a mother of three children who attend school in the city — it can really benefit her family.
After arriving in the US three years ago, Zambrano says her family of five stays in the living room of her brother-in-law.
“I also have children that want to live comfortably, that they have somewhere to stay, that want to sleep well because we only sleep in the living room and I need that room for my kids and my husband.”
The resolution will also require the school district to partner with the department of homelessness in gathering data and developing strategies to combat homelessness.
“We have a reality in San Francisco where there are thousands of people are living on our streets and many of those folks are families and young people and as a school district, we need to target our resources so then when they show up at school they know that they’re going to get the support they need.”