Albemarle High School Hosts Homeless Speakers Bureau Meeting
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.
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