Is community aware of homeless youths? What can be done to help?

Posted: Thursday, February 05, 2004

Did you read the article in the Dispatch a few months ago about the Kenai Alternative High School? I was surprised to learn that at any given time between 15 percent and 40 percent of the students attending the school are homeless.

According to Webster's dictionary the word "home" is described as a place of security and comfort. Some teenage students in the Kenai and Soldotna area don't have that place. They are sleeping on couches, floors and in tree forts. They are out in the cold with no idea where their next meal is coming from. They have no place of security and comfort.

Yes, I am aware that some have chosen to live that way just as some adults have chosen to live that way. Those adults at least have a homeless shelter to go to each night for a shower and a bed.

In the Bible the book of James talks about taking care of the orphans and widows. It says that "This is a religion that God the Father looks on as pure and faultless."

Some area churches are providing breakfast for the students. This is good and it is a start, but what can the rest of the Christian community do for these hungry and homeless?

Here is a thought: There is talk going around about the closing of some schools. Could some of those schools be used for shelters for those homeless teenagers instead of being boarded up and left empty? Could community groups volunteer to supervise the shelters at night? What are your thoughts and ideas?

If you feel you can help please contact the borough mayor, the school superintendent and any school board member to voice your concern, thoughts and ideas about this problem in our community.

I know your help would be greatly appreciated.

Tami Dunbar


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