Ogden’s Odyssey Elementary launches first family support center

Dec 7, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm

OGDEN — A new resource center is now offering hope to students and their families going through tough times.

According to officials from the Ogden School District, 1 in 10 of their students face housing insecurity each year, which translates to 1,100 students.

Odyssey Elementary is the first primary school in the state to house a family support center.

“Every child deserves a roof over their head. They deserve a kitchen to make a warm meal, they deserve a clean bathroom to take a shower. They deserve a place where their families can connect together,” said Sonja Davidson, principal of Odyssey Elementary School, during an inauguration ceremony held on Thursday.

The center will provide essentials like laundry facilities, showers, a kitchen area, and a place for children to work on their homework.

“Life gets overwhelming for all of us,” said Erica Duncan, the parent advocate. “It’s a blessing that we’re able to come together as a family and as a community here to support each other while we all go through whatever life may throw at us.”

Additional support centers are under construction at three high schools: Ogden High, Ben Lomond High, and Ogden Technical High School.

“This center will serve as more than just a physical space. It becomes a symbol of community commitment to fostering stability and resilience,” said Arlene Anderson, vice president of the Ogden School District Board of Education.

“It will nurture a path towards self-sufficiency and ultimately help our students, parents and families regain a sense of security and hope for the future,” Anderson continued.

The family support center at Odyssey Elementary School will have a full-time staff member and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The center was made possible by the Ogden School Foundation, the Ogden School District and donations from the private sector. Further donations can still be made for future family support centers the district has planned.

Mary Culbertson contributed to this report. 

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Ogden’s Odyssey Elementary launches first family support center