By Kathryn Burris
At Beaverton, the numbers of homeless students are growing – and we aren’t the only ones. Across the district and across the state, the number of homeless students have grown to an all-time high of 22,541 – 5.6 percent increase from last year. Beaverton High School alone has around 90 reported homeless students. Social studies teacher Rita Morgan has decided to help support these students by forming Club Hope, “a new club to promote homeless awareness and support programs and projects to address our school’s homeless population.”
Ms. Morgan says that it was ‘kinda funny’ the way the club started. Founded by her and juniors Cameron Monfared and Ayden Fox, they say they all came up with similar ideas at separate times in separate ways. All united with the same passion, they worked together to combine their ideas and Club Hope was born.
The biggest topic that Club Hope plans to tackle is advocating for a family shelter to be built in Beaverton. Currently, Beaverton has nothing in place for homeless residents under 18. The closest family shelter is in Gresham, but there’s competition for space. Many families end up living out of cars or motels, and students couch-surf at friends’ houses for weeks because shelters fill up so fast. The city hasn’t responded to this crisis and has built an adult shelter that students aren’t allowed to stay in.
For now, Club Hope is going to try to do the best that they can to provide a safe place to stay for these students. They are going to try to make connections to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Youth Builders, and the Beaverton School District Construction Program in order to broaden their opportunities to help out in any way.
Club Hope also plans to team up with other Beaverton High School clubs in the future. But for now, they are just trying to spread the word. When asked, Monfared said, “It’s a great way to make a change, especially because we have so many homeless students at this school, so you’ll be directly affecting your peers. I think that’s a very powerful thing for anyone to have the opportunity to do.”
Jacey Davidson, a member of the club says, “Club Hope is an interesting way to help out in the community. I’m excited for what we have planned and I hope more people join in because we need all the help we can get!”
Make a resolution to help others this upcoming year. Club Hope meets every Tuesday at 2:45 in MD09. Any level of commitment is welcome, whether you attend one meeting or every meeting. Club Hope is also an awesome way to get community service credit by attending outside club events. Come join and make memories that will last a lifetime.
In addition to Club Hope, two other school clubs dedicated to serving the community have been formed in the past month. Beaver Buddies is a club dedicated to partnering with the special education programs here at Beaverton High to help build connections between students. If you are interested in being apart of this club you can contact the advisor Pauline Lee at email@example.com.
The second new club created is Beaver Welcome. Their mission is to make the lives of new students easier by providing a friendly welcome when arriving at Beaverton. Contact advisor Nadia Hasan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get involved.
Club Hope poster hanging outside the cafeteria. (Photo by Kathryn Burris).