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Educators Support Youth by Taking Them into Their Homes

Bright, affable Jay’Veontae Hudson isn’t the typical student that one would associate with chronic homelessness. But his senior year will be his first at Portland’s Parkrose High School with a stable home situation.

As a middle schooler, his family situation prompted a sudden leave. After bouncing around with friends and family members alike, Hudson was constantly moving from place to place. Upon arriving at Parkrose, he got connected to the Gateway System. This is a district-mandated set of programs that help provide kids like him with the necessary resources they need. But still, he needed more help. “There was a place to go,” Hudson said, “but there was no place to live.”

One year, as spring break approached, he reached out to a friend. The friend put him in touch with an English teacher named Jacquelyn Meza, whose parents had some extra space. While Hudson stayed with her parents, Meza put more time and effort to find Hudson a more permanent situation.

Eventually, Hudson ended up staying with math teacher Tammy Stamp, who agreed to be a foster care provider. Now, instead of relying solely upon his own wits and resources, he has Stamp as another loving presence to help. Hudson said, “It’s weird because I’m used to being the only one responsible for myself. She buys all my toothpaste and floss now.”

Potential Preaching Angles: Being the hands and feet of Jesus means helping not only to meet spiritual and emotional needs, but also physical needs.

Source: Maria Pena Cornejo, “A Place to Go, But No Place to Live,” Portland Tribune (8-27-19)

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