Leesville students struggle with stable housing

During the holiday season, The Mycenaean would like to remind you to be thankful for everything you have, down to your own bed to sleep in at night. According to the Raleigh Rescue Mission, one in six people live at or below the poverty level, putting them at a high risk for homelessness.

According to WCPSS, 2736 total students are “homeless” — 642 of whom are high school students. Of those 642 students, 22 of them attend Leesville. These students are lacking a permanent home, also known as being “in-transition.” A few students who are currently in-transition talked with The Mycenaean.

This year will be the first holiday season Charlie (not his real name) spends outside of the comfort of his own home. Four months ago, Charlie, his sister and his mother were evicted from their apartment. His mother arranged for a place to stay, but the plans quickly fell through, leaving them without a place to live.

“We couldn’t get a place,” Charlie explained. “Me being a junior here [made] my mom want to keep me in the Leesville district.” Charlie and his family began to stay in a variety of long-stay hotels situated near Leesville–one bedroom and one bathroom being shared with three people, one dog and one cat.

“I really don’t want anyone coming over, or even knowing that I am in a hotel,” Charlie said. “They’ll ask me why I wear the same clothes everyday.”

Charlie does not let these comments bother him; he understands that most of his peers “just don’t know better.”

Fortunately, Charlie does have a few friends at Leesville who never judge him for his situation.

Charlie’s new living situation has not stopped him from working hard in school, however. “It is hard to come home from school…not actually being in my own home, just a generic hotel room.” He spends most of his afternoons working out in the hotel gym, working towards his goal of becoming an MMA fighter.

Charlie devotes time to his school work, being held to the same expectations as any other student. He plans to attend college after high school, but if finances become a hindrance, he will pursue a career as either a police officer or enlist in the army. Whatever his path, Charlie will not allow his situation to stop his drive and will continue to work towards accomplishing his goals.

The Mycenaean contacted another student who is living in transition. She had an apartment in Raleigh but had to move 60 miles away to live with an uncle and is currently in a situation that hinders her from attending school the last two weeks.

Americans are raised having misconceptions regarding the homeless: they are lazy, mentally troubled and criminal. Society generally looks down upon the homeless, however, most Americans don’t realize they may work hard and still struggle to improve their situation.

1 Comment on "Leesville students struggle with stable housing"

  1. Jeanette Stephenson | December 16, 2015 at 9:10 am |

    I bet this article will shock a lot of students. We need to realize that we are ALL just a job loss, major illness or natural disaster away from being homeless. We need to count our blessings, be understanding, non-judgmental and help those in need when we can. Maybe there will be some follow-up articles on how we can support the homeless in our community?

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