LEETONIA, Ohio (WYTV) — A new program at Leetonia Schools connected one family with local resources that helped get them back on their feet, and into a new home.
At the beginning of the school year, Kim Jackson and her three kids were homeless. The school found out after one of her children told her teacher that she has nowhere to send mail to.
“It’s nice to know that people care. Because there’s so many people that don’t,” said Jackson.
“They did not know after school where they were going to go. So I reached out to the mother,” said Ryan O’Donnell, family liaison.
Ryan O’Donnell is the family to school liaison for the program. His job is to connect families with local resources they may not even know are available.
“She was able to get on some cash assistance, food stamps, she’s going to be getting some ssi benefits things like that. And they’re currently in the process of actually getting a home,” said O’Donnell.
After more than four months, Kim and her family now have a place to call home.
“Helping us with the first month’s rent and security deposit and everything. I support my kids and I provide for them and this is getting me back to where I can,” said Jackson.
The program is new to Leetonia this year.
Superintendent Robert Mehno says the state provided extra funds to help less fortunate families.
He says having a school to family liaison fills a much needed gap.
“What can we do to help students with these non-academic barriers going through rough times? As a school we’re here to service our community,” said Superintendent Mehno.
The hope, is that it can grow.
“I would love to get the word across. Kind of work closer with the educational service center and have them spread the word to other counties,” said O’Donnell.
“There’s a lot of people out there that need the help and are just going through a rough situation,” said Jackson.
Only three school districts in the Valley have this specific program, all in Columbiana County, Lisbon, Crestview and now Leetonia.