EDUCATION

Davis School District reveals new resources for 1,300 homeless students

Aug 10, 2022, 7:14 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2022, 10:54 am

LAYTON, Utah — Five brand new centers intended to provide needed services for homeless students are opening in the Davis School District, just in time for a return to school.

The centers come as the district expanded efforts to help the 1,300 homeless students in the district, including about 300 who are in high schools.

It’s a struggle that Camille Thompson knows all about.

“My family wasn’t homeless, but we were severely economically challenged,” she said. “I didn’t want people to know my secret, you know?”

Now Thompson has committed to helping teens who are facing similar challenges, likely more so this coming school year with a brand new teen center at Northridge High School.

“I wanted to be able to give back to this school because of what I experienced when I was here, so it’s a really, it’s a huge deal for me,” she explained.

There are now five total new drop-in help centers across the Davis School District. They offer a place to study, shower, and do laundry.

“You know it gets emotional for me at times, you know the way that the community came together,” said Jason Smith, principal at Northridge High School.

It really was the community that made it happen. After the first center at Clearfield High School served as a proof of concept, donations poured in, helping the Davis Education Foundation raise about $5 million.

“This has brought our community together to focus on what really matters, and that is our children,” Jodi Lunt, director of the Davis Education Foundation said.

She said they have made major progress on the next step. They have the land and plans ready to build a 16-bed facility that will provide students with a place to sleep.

“This is going to fill an incredible gap that we have in Davis County, and that is to allow our teachers and our counselors and our family service workers to have a remedy for the students in a day-to-day crisis,” Lunt said.

Construction for the new overnight center in Layton could start as soon as October. Three more teen centers are also planned at Syracuse, Bountiful, and Viewmont high schools. Those should all be ready to open in time for the 2023 school year.

There is a public ribbon cutting for the new Teen Center at Northridge High on August 18 at 3 p.m.

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Davis School District reveals new resources for 1,300 homeless students