CLEARFIELD, Utah (KUTV) — Approximately 1,200 students in the Davis School District are experiencing homelessness.
A number of those students are at Clearfield High School. So, they’re building a teen services center where homeless students can shower, study, and do laundry.
2020 has made times harder for many families in Davis County. Jodi Lunt, the executive director of the Davis Education Foundation, said the need for some of the services they provide has been rising.
“We have seen a dramatic rise in requests for services — for food, for coats, for clothing, for assistance, for basic needs in the homes," Lunt said.
She took 2News inside the future site of the teen services center.
“There are two key words in designing this: dignity and discretion," Lunt said.
They’re taking a former locker room and turning it into a space for doing laundry, showering, and more.
“We’re even going to do a career closet we have spoken about, so if kids need clothing for interviews,” Lunt said.
The facility will cost around $208,760. That money is coming largely from the City of Clearfield, but also the education foundation and the district. The center will have staff who can connect students to resources, and space for them to study.
If you’re dirty or you’re cold, or you’re hungry, or you haven’t slept well, you don’t come to school," Lunt said. "We have research showing us that there is a very, very strong correlation to attendance issues."
And the community is on board. A group of parents dropped off some 300 hygiene kits on Thursday.
So how many students will use the center?
“We want to get to where we maximize it," said Clearfield High School Principal Chris Keime.
Keime said students who need it will have a scheduled period once a week to spend in the center.
“The class that they would be assigned would be something like a study skills class," Keime explained. “We would like at least eight students a day using it as we launch it."
With a food bank and a mindfulness center on campus, Lunt hopes the new space will help lift some of the load students still have to carry.
If we can eliminate barriers, keep pushing those things out of the way for kids, they can be academically and personally successful," Lunt said.
The center is set to open in mid-January. There are also hopes to open centers at Woods Cross and Northridge High Schools within the next two years.