Kids walking club offers free tuition for kids of homeless families
The Kids Walk Club of Portland, Oregon, has a simple goal: provide a free tuition to homeless families and young people ages 3 to 24 who are living on the streets.
The group started offering the program to children and young adults in 2015 and recently opened its first program in the city, located in Northeast Portland.
The goal is to provide students a safe place to get off the streets and get into school.
The program also aims to help homeless youth stay in school and be able to support themselves, said Stephanie A. Mims, the group’s executive director.
“It’s important that we do this for young people who need help,” Mims said.
This is an emerging market, Mims told CNN.
“We’re not sure how the market will develop but we want to be the first to help.”
The Kids Walk is also helping the community by offering free transportation to homeless youth.
The organization is also working with other local businesses and other organizations to expand the program and provide more services to homeless people.
In 2015, the program was funded through the Oregon State Lottery and was named to the Oregon Community Service Block Grant program, Mim said.
The kids program is funded through a grant from the Salvation Army.
Mims said the program is just one part of a bigger initiative.
“I want to focus on what we can do to help these kids, to support them, to give them a home and help them get into college,” she said.
The program was founded by former Portland resident and former police officer Andrew H. Wigginton.
“This is not just about us, it’s about all of us,” Wiggington told CNN’s Erin Burnett in 2015.
“If we all had this kind of support we would be doing things differently.”
According to a report released by the Oregon Department of Education, nearly 1,500 homeless children were enrolled in Portland’s Kids Walk program in 2015, an increase from 2015, when only 150 children were participating in the program.
In the past three years, there have been an average of 20 students enrolled in the Kids Walk each day, the report said.