Unique San Diego School Serves Homeless

The Monarch School in San Diego, Calif., serves homeless children exclusively. Besides educational programs, the school provides showers and a health clinic.

“I think that this past year at Monarch has really shown us that anyone can become homeless,” said Tara Barrows, a school volunteer and event coordinator in an interview with the ABC News show “20/20.”

Recently, enrollment in the school increased from 100 students to 170.

“Our numbers just skyrocketed, and I think that is really a testament to how families are being impacted by the economy,” said Barrows. The public school, run by the San Diego County Office of Education, must meet the same standards as any other school. But since all the students are homeless, a nonprofit component supplements regular school activities with art therapy, after-school programs, clothing and other necessities.

“We just provide a lot of services that are beyond the scope of a traditional public school so that our kids can really focus on academics and do well,” said Barrows.

Issues |Education

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