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Posted on Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Program seeks donations to help homeless Washtenaw County students go back to school

By Amy Biolchini


Education Project for Homeless Youth Program Manager Jennifer Martin stuffs a backpack full of school supplies in January at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

Daniel Brenner I file photo

A program is seeking donations of school supplies and other products to help homeless students in Washtenaw County prepare to start school this fall.

The Education Project for Homeless Youth is a grant-funded program that helps homeless children from birth to age 21 to enroll, attend and succeed in school.

Last school year, 1,300 children and youth in Washtenaw County were either homeless or in a temporary living situation. Between 2010 to 2011, homelessness among students grew 32 percent, according to data collected by the Education Project.

“Our students are so appreciative of the school supplies,” said Jennifer Martin, program manager, in a statement. “It’s one of the ways we can help students to fit in and have some of the necessary educational tools for school.”

The Education Project works with all nine public districts and public school academies in the county to help students living in shelters, motels, temporary foster care, cars, abandoned houses and those living temporarily with friends or family.

Supplies can be accepted for the program throughout the summer and school year at the Teaching and Learning Center at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District at 1819 S. Wagner Road in Ann Arbor.

Until Aug. 31, supplies will also be collected at the SOS Community Services office at 101 S. Huron Ave. in Ypsilanti and at the Salvation Army at 100 Arbana in Ann Arbor.

The following is a list of items the Education Project is seeking:

  • Backpacks for students of any age (black, blue, red, purple and pink are favorites)
  • Solar-powered calculators
  • Colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, washable markers
  • Protractors and compasses
  • Blunt and pointed scissors
  • One-inch binders, dividers, wide-rule notebook paper
  • Pencil boxes and pencil bags
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Men’s and women’s deodorant
  • Laundry detergent pods and small bottles of dish detergent
  • New packages of socks (ankle socks are preferred)
  • New packages of underwear (boys and teens prefer boxers)
  • Gift certificates to Meijer, Target, Big Lots, etc.
  • Can openers

Additionally, cash donations are accepted by the Education Project year-round to be used for its student need fund. Contact the project at (734) 994-8100 ext. 1518 for more information.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 3:13 a.m.

We also need to be reminded that our school funds are being zapped because we have to transport them to school whether or not they are in our district or not. So, no I don't find this a fun effort because my taxes are already being utilized to transport these children who no longer live our area. A little know law thanks to Snyder.

Resident A2

Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

jns131 - So, we're going to blame the kids whose families happen to have fallen on hard times. And, who said that this is a "fun effort". There is nothing fun about being poor and not having the basics to start back to school!


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

This effort isn't about you its about the kids, get over yourself!

Angry Moderate

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Jns, isn't that a federal law from the 1970s? What on earth does it have to do with Governor Snyder?

Basic Bob

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

@Tom Todd, this is money being spent on the homeless, not the rich.

Tom Todd

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Snyder the gift that keeps giving to the RICH.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

This is a great way to get your kids involved in giving. Since my son started school, each fall we hit the back-to-school sales and buy a backpack and fill it with socks, underwear, and school supplies for a boy his age. A lot of people may only think to give to the needy at Thanksgiving and Christmas; this is a good reminder that there are people in need all year round.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

I feel inspired :) Keep it up!

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

That's a really cool idea JuliaAnnArb.


Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

The need for charitable assistance continues to grow in Washtenaw County. Thank you to everyone who steps us and helps, and gives. Even a small contribution of time or money or useful items can make a big difference.

Linda Peck

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 1 p.m.

Thanks, Amy, for letting us know.