Did you know that the Folsom Cordova Unified School District had 680 documented cases of “homeless” students in 2008 (now 783)? Can you believe that? It’s hard to grasp that so many local kids are struggling with something as basic as a stable place to live. This is not happening in some random city either, but in our own backyard.
WHAT IS A HOMELESS STUDENT? “Homeless” is defined as “an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate residence.” The students that the school district serves in Folsom and Rancho Cordova are living in unstable places like motels, in homes without a parent or legal guardian, in homes without power or water, in RVs in parking lots, in cars, in tents, on the streets, and more. Being a kid or teenager these days is difficult enough without adding the struggle of instability in living arrangements.
WHAT IS PROJECT 680? Project 680 is a grassroots team effort led by local residents to do something about the problem of student homelessness. This all started with a sock drive in December 2008. After learning of the “680″ from the District Liaison for Homeless Services, and that having new socks were a felt need among these students, it became our goal to collect 680 pairs of socks. Well, we were overwhelmed with generosity from the community and we saw 3,144 pairs of socks come in (on a similar note, a future underwear drive then saw 3,198 pairs of underwear). Local residents, neighborhoods, organizations, churches, and businesses all teamed up to make this happen.
The drives we have done have been successful thus far because it’s been easy to get involved and easy to see that such a basic need was important for local students. Our communities in Folsom & Rancho Cordova have a big heart for local kids and they respond generously when hearing about what local students need.
FINDING PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS: Project 680 is all about discovering practical ways to support local students. We are not looking to create enormous and time-consuming programs either, but emphases that are easy to pull off and also make sense for everyone. We are continually keeping our eyes and ears open for what local students need and then we do something about it by getting the community involved.
PROJECT 680 BOARD:
Project 680 is managed by a board of community members that consists of Ryan Lundquist, Jennifer Tartaglia, Melody Mayer, Shannan Loveless, Charlene Hunt & Sheryl Longsworth. If you have questions for any board member or a general question about Project 680, please let us know. We are committed to being transparent to the community in all regards and to integrously and appropriately handling donations of every kind, whether monetary or other. Donations are directed to serve homeless students in the FCUSD as the board sees fit. We do not have staff members and no board member or any other person or entity earns even a cent from our steering efforts, so what you donate goes directly to students.
Project 680 does not currently have non-profit 501c3 status, but we are grateful for the Cordova Community Council accepting checks on our behalf as a non-profit partner to Project 680. Please contact us if you are interested in making a tax-deductible financial contribution. Checks can be made payable to “Cordova Community Council” with “Project 680″ in the memo section.
Advocating for local homeless students does not require a degree in rocket science, but only a willing heart to love in simple ways. Project 680 sincerely belongs to all of us. Please follow our website or contact us to discover what we are doing and what we have coming up.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love” Mother Theresa