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Report details a growing problem of homeless students in Fayette County

Josh James

A newly released survey is shining a light on youth homelessness in Fayette County and how the public school system hopes to address it. WUKY’s Samantha Lederman has this report.

The survey was conducted at the end of last month by the Central Kentucky Housing and Homelessness Initiative (also known as CKHHI) in collaboration with the Catholic Action Center and Street Voice Council. It found that as of August 30th there were at least 453 homeless students in Fayette County; by Christmas that number will probably be around 500 and it’s likely to be close to double that by the end of the school year.

Catholic Action Center Director and Co-Founder Ginny Ramsey says through donations to it’s Give Kids A Home campaign, the CAC will support the McKinney Vento program at the Fayette County Public Schools.

For First District Council Member Tayna Fogle, who is hoping to funnel some of the City’s Fund Balance towards the problem, it’s personal. Fogle and her son Michael moved from Northern Kentucky to the Pitino Shelter in Owensboro after falling into financial difficulty.

Meadowthorpe Elementary Fourth Grader Grayson Daniels was at the meeting with his father, who had encouraged him to speak out. Daniels gave a speech outlining how moved he’d been to hear that some of his own friends might, unbeknownst to him, be suffering from homelessness or housing insecurity. He described the petition he’s started, and said he hopes to expand to other schools in the district.

At 3.1% at the last official count, Kentucky has one of the highest percentages of homeless kids in schools.

Listeners might remember Lederman and her English accent from when she was a morning news anchor on WUKY from 1999 to 2001.