Homeless Kids and Bus Stops
(Written by a Homeless Father in Jacksonville)
At the (homeless) center I stay at with my family, there are 17 children that attend one school in particular. They are not provided a bus stop by the bus transportation office of the local school system, who is standing behind ‘sex offender’ laws for refusing to do so.
This last week I went to legal aid for counsel and possible representation. I got all the parents of the children to sign a petition. It’s a start.
My biggest problem is when I went to a director of one agency I’ve worked alot with, they wouldn’t do anything until they saw what reaction or backup I got from another. It’s political. It was admitted. It doesn’t make me feel any less better, and it’s made more of a wall when it comes to considering working with management that hasn’t ever been homeless yet makes their living off them.
In the meantime…I’ve requested a meeting with the local school liason for homeless students and her supervisor to inform them of my intent to continue pursuing a bus stop, as well as give them the chance to say their side. In all fairness, our liason is pretty good and wonderful…it’s looking like she was used as a ‘channel’ for communication when someone who should have done their job didn’t.
Oldtimer’s Comment: It seems to me that this is a “catch 22” situation of sorts. The school system won’t put a bus stop near a shelter because shelters are perceived rightly or wrongly as a place where sexual offenders are/might be. Yet the shelter is a shelter for homeless familes including 17 children. Virtually all the children that will get on and off the proposed bus stop come out of the shelter being cited as an unsafe place for the bus to stop (because it is an unsafe place for children to be!)