The Chippewa Valley Post provides news of area nonprofit organizations in order to increase public awareness of their missions and activities, and to provide information that otherwise might not be made available.
Our “6 of Substance” series is part of this effort. It will present answers from nonprofit organizations, in their own words, to six questions we asked about who they are and what they do. The responses will be edited only for length, grammar and style concerns.
This series will be updated regularly to introduce Chippewa Valley residents to the many nonprofit organizations and people working to serve the needs of our area. If you have a favorite nonprofit organization that you’d like to see featured here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECASD Homeless Program
Who do you serve?
The Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) Homeless Program works with students (three-year-olds to 12th graders) and their families while they’re experiencing homelessness.
How long have you been established in the Chippewa Valley?
The ECASD Homeless Program has existed since 2006, but the school district has provided specific services for homeless students since 1999. Our teachers and staff members have been helping students and families in poverty and homeless situations for decades by personally providing necessary items and resources.
What are the major issues you will be facing over the next 18 months?
The homeless situations of our families are very diverse and our numbers are growing. We are never sure of what each family will be facing when we first meet them. Having the resources necessary to give our homeless students what they need for school is very important, and finding those resources is always an obstacle. We rely heavily on the generosity of our community members and groups to allow us to provide these items to our homeless students.
Aside from financial support, how can the Chippewa Valley Community support you?
We LOVE gently used donations of clothing, winter outerwear, tennis shoes and school supplies. We also provide new socks, underwear and hygiene items to students. Any donations (size 4T to adult clothing and size 10 toddler and up for shoes/snow boots) are greatly appreciated!
Who are some of the key people in your organization?
Dani Claesges, who is the ECASD Homeless Program Coordinator.
What is the most important thing about your organization that people should know, but don’t?
Our goal is to provide whatever is necessary to ensure that our students do not have any barriers to academic success. We work with parents and guardians to support their efforts in moving beyond homelessness and, while in their homeless situations, we help them find the best resources for caring for their child/children.
The school district understands that we must find ways to care for the whole child and address non-academic needs if we are expecting our students to come into our classrooms ready to learn.
— by Dani Claesges, ECASD Homeless Program Coordinator
If you would like more information about the ECASD Homeless Program, go to http://ecasdhomeless.blogspot.com.
To download a copy of the “6 of Substance” questionnaire, click here.
To see earlier “6 of Substance” listings, click here for the Archives.