COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. That’s especially true for hundreds of homeless students and their families in Macomb County. Every year, Extra Credit Union in Warren hosts a Mittens for Kids drive to collect cold-weather items and toiletries for homeless students and their families in Macomb County. This year, the financial institution collected $1,840, which includes $140 in gift cards, and 510 personal care items including hats, gloves, scarves, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and other items.
The annual effort supports the Macomb Intermediate School District’s (MISD) Homeless Education Project, which provides registered homeless students and their families in Macomb County with community resources, as well as personal care items and even food. There are currently 735 registered homeless students in Macomb County. The number typically increases throughout the school year. The last school year ended with 1,104 registered homeless students in the county.
Jackie Chase of the MISD Homeless Education Project says there are likely more students that need help than those who are registered. COVID-19 and remote learning have made it more difficult to identify homeless students in the county. She said she “expects the number to increase as the districts return to in-person classes.”