Homeless students to receive help through Impact Avenues program

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The City of Topeka has joined together with multiple partners to create a program focused on reducing the number of students who face homelessness in Topeka.

Impact Avenues was created to reduce student homelessness by assisting students and families to obtain stable housing through graduation.

There are an estimated 750 to 1,000 homeless students in Topeka and Shawnee County Schools. In an attempt to bring this number down, Advisors Excel will be providing up to $500,000 to support the program.

“No child should have to worry about where they are sleeping at night,” said Advisors Excel Co-Founder David Callanan. “Studies show social and emotional development is threatened and a child’s ability to concentrate is impacted without the stability and support a permanent home provides. When the opportunity to get involved in the Impact Avenues program presented itself, we felt strongly that we had to help tackle the issue of student homelessness in Topeka.”

To be considered homeless, a student doesn’t have to be one that is living on the streets but could be one who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. For example, a student who lives in a car, park, public place, or couch surfs does not have an adequate residence and would be considered homeless.

Qualifying students will receive support to obtain stable housing and assistance with overcoming barriers to success like transportation, employment, financial literacy, healthcare, and others.

To qualify for this program, a student has to be referred by a USD 501 liaison.

“Through Impact Avenue, together we will remove barriers for all families,” said USD 501 Superintendent Dr. Anderson. “We are committed to the success of every child and we are grateful for all who helped make this partnership possible which will reduce poverty by eliminating homelessness in Topeka.”

Families will be assigned an Impact Avenues navigator whose main focus is to assist them throughout their journey. The City of Topeka is looking to fill this role, and applications can be found here.

For more information on the Impact Avenue program, click here.

To contribute to ongoing expenses for the program, you can donate online by clicking here and select the “Impact Avenues Fund”, or send a check directly to the Topeka Community Foundation with “Impact Avenues Fund” in the memo line.

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