Patty Clark from Midwest Energy Cooperative spoke to Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce members July 8 about the Pajama Rama scheduled in Adrian Oct. 21.
Events are planned throughout the day at the Adrian Mall in an effort to collect pajamas, underwear, socks, sports bras, money and gift cards that can be used by children who do not have a home.
After hearing Clark’s talk, Chamber members voted to send this year’s Labor Day Bridge Walk profits to a county-wide homeless children benefit.
Clark said most students who are considered homeless don’t fit the stereotype of living on the street. Some families are forced to leave their house and they double up with friends or relatives. Some students are “couch homeless” and stay at various friends’ homes.
Clark said she’s heard of parents leaving their children behind while they leave the area in search of jobs. She also knew of a 13-year-old girl who lived in a foreclosed home.
Clark said 414 Lenawee County students received assistance in the 2008-09 school year, according to Beth McCullough who coordinates homeless assistance. McCullough is part of the Adrian school system, but offers assistance to other school counselors around the county.
“You might think they’re mostly in Adrian,” Clark said, “but I’m here to tell you they’re not.”
By January of this year, she said, three county school districts had already served more homeless students than in the entire 2008-09 school year.
Clark described the Pajama Rama event like a potluck dinner, with everyone bringing something to donate to the county-wide Homeless Education program.