Occupy Seeks Donations for Homeless Students

The Long Beach branch of the movement begins a drive for the city's homeless schoolchildren.

The Occupy Long Beach movement will hold a donation drive on Sunday, Jan. 29 through Sunday, Feb. 12 in order to raise money for homeless students in the city of Long Beach. 

Due to a large influx of foreclosures, defaults and record unemployment, homelessness is on the rise nationally. Consequently, according to Occupy Long Beach, the number of homeless students in Long Beach as of the 2010-11 school year is approximately 5,300 students.

"Just as we raise our collective voice to effect change within our government, we raise our arms to embrace all members of our community," said Mary Ellen Hobbs of Occupy Long Beach. 

“What we’ve known in the Long Beach Unified School District for a long time is that all children can achieve at high levels when given the right support, no matter how much the odds are stacked against them," said Chris Steinhauser, superintendent of schools. "One of the most important things we do is to give our homeless children a chance to make something better of their lives. The key to their brighter future—as Mary McLeod Bethune knew so well—is a good education”

Occupy Long Beach is asking for donations of athletic or closed-toe shoes, socks, jackets and zip-up sweatshirts, hoodies, all of which should be plain without print or text and all of which should be new.

Donations are for children grades K-12 and will be given directly to Long Beach students in coordination with the Bethune Transitional Center and the L.A. County Office of Education, Student Support Services.

Drop off locations and hours are at Bixby Park (corner of Broadway and Junipero) starting Sunday, Jan. 29, noon-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 5-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Donations can also be taken to Urban Cottage, 4121 Long Beach Blvd. from  Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Contact: Heather Kern at occupylbmail@gmail.com or call (562)-433-7205.


John B. Greet January 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Now *this* is a constructive activity in the effort to assist the homeless! Nice job OLB! I think it would be great if we could get a more accurate idea of the actual number of homeless students, ideally from a source that doesn't have a vested interest in inflating the numbers (if indeed that is what has happened here.) One homeless person (student or otherwise) is too many and I think we should all re-double our efforts to develop public policies that can serve to decrease, rather than increase, homelessness in our community, our county, our state, and our nation.
Heather Kern January 28, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I co-organized this event. The statistic came directly from the LA Office of Education, Student Services. Please spread the word and support this event. If we get 5300 donations, it will go to 5300 children in need, regardless of how homed or homeless they are. - Heather Kern
Nancy Woo January 28, 2012 at 08:26 PM
They might need to be buying their own books, too. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/01/26/4429/california-ACLU-lawsuit-education-free-supplies-la/
Nancy Wride January 28, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Good Saturday to you all. Long Beach has enough homeless students to merit their own school, on which you can read more at www.lbschools.net and search Bethune. Here's just one short piece http://patch.com/bvaOM And here is a story I did about their students attending summer camp with pro musicians, thanks to Jen Pratt of Belmont Shore driving to get them five days a week and finding community scholarships http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/07/local/me-music7


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