(All names and identifying information in this case study have been changed to protect the confidentiality of this student. However, the story is an accurate description of the services that Communities In Schools – Bay Area provides to students and families.)
When a new student is enrolled at our school, the front office staff becomes aware of the families needs and assesses if they could benefit from utilizing Communities In Schools services. Every time a student is classified as homeless, they will automatically receive CIS services. The campus Program Coordinator will sit with the parent and create action steps to meet immediate needs and plan for future needs. For immediate needs, CIS will provide school supplies, clothing, shoes, food, and hygiene items. For future planning, CIS will speak with the parent and see where they want to be as time goes on. CIS will help match up those wishes with the right resources which will benefit their desired resolutions (better jobs, transitional housing, transportation, higher education, etc).
CIS began working with a family of children and a single mom living in the shelter in early October. The children ranged in ages 5-9. They were wearing soiled, ill-fitting clothing. CIS met with each child and provided each of them with a brand new pair of shoes, clothing, and hygiene kits.
Around Thanksgiving, mom was able to move out of the shelter but did not have any furniture for when she moved into her new apartment. CIS partnered with a group of volunteers and they filled her apartment with beds, couches, tables, lamps, kitchen items, etc. Not only has CIS been able to provide items to the family, but supportive guidance as well. CIS works individually with the 5 year old on academic readiness every morning and has the two older sisters in lunch groups every week.