Beyond The Bell: OKCPS Helps Homeless Students

Thursday, October 15th 2015, 11:04 pm
By: News 9

Thousands of students in the metro are trying to manage schoolwork while worrying about where they'll stay each night. So, the OKC Public Schools is adding resources to help them outside the classroom.

Closets filled with clothes, backpacks stuffed with school supplies, and a dependable adult who cares. These are just a few of the ways Kathy Brown helps homeless students in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

“Last year I had 3,187. This year to date I have almost 1,900. We still have them come in every day,” said Kathy Brown, Coordinator.

Using grant money, the district does all it can to help those kids facing the kinds of stresses usually reserved for adults.

“We have those that are in motels, hotels, and lots of times they can get enough money just to get a room for a night or two. But, they don’t have enough money to put down a deposit for an apartment,” continued Brown.

Trying to do well in school, while worrying about the basics, is what Nathan Cully does every day.

Cully left home when he was 17. “Everything I owned was in a duffle bag about this big.” 

“All my family members from my real family, they’ve actually been drug dealers. They’ve been alcoholics,” Cully added.

In order to survive now out on his own, he goes straight to work after school. He clocks 60 hours a week.

“I want to bring change into my family,” said Cully.

He's now in his an apartment, something made possible in part by the school district.

“Growing up I never had that kind of help in life so, I really didn’t understand what they were trying to do. I thought they were trying to get something out of it but they don’t ever ask for anything back,” Cully told News 9.

It's a service for students facing barriers for no fault of their own, to help them break the cycle of homelessness and have a chance at success.