SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s “Stay Over” program allows the gym at the Buena Vista Horace Mann school to be used as a temporary shelter for homeless students. The gym provides a temporary safe place for students to sleep, as well as three meals a day.
Around 2,000 students from the San Francisco School District are homeless, have unstable or unsafe living conditions, or switch between homes frequently, according to San Francisco Public Press.
The “Stay Over Program” added more measures after more students found themselves in need of meals and a place to stay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides free food and shelter for members of the school district who are in-need.
The shelter is now open 24/7, and allows the young students full access to the playground, community garden, and other areas in an added attempt to add some relief and normalcy to their situations.
In addition to the “Stay Over” program, the San Francisco Unified School District now runs 18 camp sites across the city where parents can pick up meals for their kids, once every Monday and Wednesday. It also offers door-to-door delivery services for other students who are dealing with disabilities, specific dietary needs, or an inability to travel. The service is run by district employees who are volunteering their extra time. Students can receive breakfast foods, fresh produce, milk, and main courses.
“Everything we do is to support these kids: the food that we serve, the schedule that we have, the support that we have, the things that we ask for the community to donate,” said Portillo, the manager of the program.