Superior School District Is Seeing More Homeless Students

By KBJR News 1

February 2, 2012 Updated Feb 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM CDT

Superior, WI (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- A Wisconsin school district is seeing a growing number of homeless students in their schools.

According to representatives from Superior schools, a rising number of children are coming to school everyday and aren't sure where they are going home to.

Most kids walking through the doors of a school in the Superior School district are thinking about school, sports, activities; typical issues from kindergarten through Senior year.

For some students in the Superior School district, homework isn't really a priority because they don't have a home. Approximately 140 students in this district are homeless and that number is going up.

Nicky Wilson, the Family Service Coordinator for the district predicts the 2011-2012 school year will include the greatest number of homeless students she's seen in her time with the district.

"Last year we only reported 147 students that are homeless so obviously we are on track to be at much higher numbers then we are in the past"

A problem according to Wilson stems from parents having low paying jobs, mental health or addiction issues, and just being down on their luck.

Wilson deals with it on a daily basis.

"We try to provide transportation to get them to and from school, provide meals for them breakfast and lunch, and to provide school supplies and any clothing needs"

Barb Certa-Werner works one of the only homeless shelters in Superior.

Their numbers are going up as well.

"We are talking five years ago we were serving 243, now we are serving 477"

Both women say that until the economy picks up and better paying jobs come to Superior, no progress can be made. Recent announcements about hundreds of new manufacturing jobs for the city give them cause for optimism.

School officials also say that close to 50 percent of Superior students are on discounted meal programs.

Zach Vavricka

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