Georgia to get federal boost to help end student homelessness

The U.S. Education Department made a big announcement Friday as they work to end student homelessness.

The department announced it will send out $800 million nationwide with Georgia being one of the states receiving the most.

"It’s going to be trickier in suburban areas because it’s densely populated and people are spread out," Everton Blair said.

Gwinnett County School Board Chair Everton Blair said tracking homelessness for school districts is not an easy task.

"We know now that our estimates are around 10,000 individuals. That extends to families and the children that they have," Blair said.

It’s a major focus and concern for many leaders.

The Education Department on Friday announced it will send a total of $800 million to states as part of the American Rescue Fund to support students experiencing homelessness.

"In Georgia, we know any money that comes to the state about 10 percent of that money will come to Gwinnett and we are super thankful for the investment federally we are seeing extended to state and local provisions," Blair said.

Nearly $200 million will be sent out as early as Monday.

Georgia ranks on the high end of states receiving the most money with a total of nearly 29 million overall.

Officials hope this money will help to identify homeless students but also provide resources and assistance so many can participate in activities.

Blair said this is a great start but he knows there’s more work to do.

"Really that we solve the problem and we give the student and families and communities the resources to address the needs upfront so we don’t have as many students experiencing homeless," Blair said.

Officials said the rest of the money will be sent out as early as June.

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