Albemarle High School Hosts Homeless Speakers Bureau Meeting - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle High School Hosts Homeless Speakers Bureau Meeting

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High school students in Albemarle County are starting a community-wide conversation to end homelessness.    

Saturday they launched Virginia's first Homelessness Speaker's Bureau to create a more personal connection between people who live on the streets and the people who pass them by without a second glance. 

Steve Thomas of the National Coalition for Homelessness says he's been drug-free with a roof over his head for 5 years, but it wasn't long ago he lived a very different life on a bench in Washington, D.C. 

"I put my stuff under that bench and I sat on that bench crying like a baby." he stated.    

Now, Thomas travels to tell his story.    

Saturday he joined Albemarle High School's ‘Fraught with the Arduous Challenge of Ending Stereotypes' (F.A.C.E.S.).  It was a chance for people to break down stereotypes relating to homelessness.    

One student says the group's mission is to inform the community about homelessness and ways to lend a hand. 

The group hopes this conversation breaks down common misconceptions about the homeless including the idea that people who don't have a house also don't have jobs.     

Thomas says many homeless people are working but don't make enough money to pay for a home.     He also says a lack of affordable housing plays a role in homelessness.     

Thomas says he is grateful everyday for his new life. "I was scared I was going to be one of those people that talk to themselves, urinated on themselves and I just prayed to God to get me out of the situation."  

The F.A.C.E.S. group started out as a community project for Albemarle High School's chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.   

Click here for information about how you can help end homelessness.

For more information on F.A.C.E.S., email Rebeckah Armistead.

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