Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Gym at Buena Vista/Horace Mann to be opened to some homeless families

The four women responsible for a pilot program to provide overnight sleeping space for some of the Mission District school's unhoused students and their parents explained the plan at a neighborhood meeting on Monday night. From the left, School Board President Hydra Mendoza, BVHM principal Claudia DeLarios Morán, District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and Emily Cohen from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services.

DeLarios Moran explained that the idea arose when some of the children in need of housing asked if they couldn't just stay at the school. Plenty has happened since then. BVHM teachers and parents discussed the plan and agreed unanimously to ask the District for support. Teachers will not be asked to run the sleeping facility, but expect to see learning gains among their more rested students. The School District had to consider facility demands and liability concerns. Ronen went prospecting for city money, now included in the new budget. The city Department of Homelessness will be putting out a contract for bid by some the city's experienced service non-profits to run the planned overnight sleeping and feeding program for some 60 people.

Some of the 30 or so neighbors on hand complained they weren't cut in on the plan until very late in its evolution, but the majority were glad see our school try something new to support our homeless neighbors. As far as these innovators have discovered, no other public school in the country has decided to use its building to house some of its homeless students. BVHM is pioneering something new here.

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