Midland ISD surprising students who qualify as homeless ahead of new school year

Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Midland ISD’s Family Service Center hit the road to surprise students who qualify as homeless with a gift before the new school year kicks off.

A brand new backpack is something every student looks forward to, but it’s something that wouldn’t be possible for some students without this program.

“This hot pink for Wesley?”

Students got backpacks filled with new school supplies, hygiene bags and even some lunch.

“There’s so many barriers to school attendance that I think with these small comforts that we can offer to these children it brings a bit of normalcy and they can go back to school comfortable,” said Chalace Phillips, a Family Support Specialist with Midland ISD.

In November, this program started out serving five families. Now they’re making sure the needs of more than 300 students are met every single month.

Midland ISD says there are several ways that students can qualify as homeless.

“Sometimes it’s just that they’re doubled up so they move in with a friend or a family member they could live in a shelter they could live in a hotel there are many different ways they could qualify,” said Phillips.

Stacy Silva currently has her niece and nephew living with her. She says she’s seen the impact of the Family Service Center firsthand.

“It reminds me of when I was younger, and we were unfortunate, so it hits home,” said Silva.

And for those on the other side, it means just as much.

“It’s not just a job for me; it’s a passion. And so it’s turned into my life’s mission, I love it,” said Phillips.

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