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A possible solution to help homeless kids in Jacksonville

11:39 AM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sabon, 17 and Rahson, 11, look like normal kids, but they are far from the norm.

"I always knew that I would have to be like this for a little while," said Sabon.

Keeping their lifestyle a secret can be difficult for an 11-year-old.

"Sometimes I spill secrets even though my mom tells me not to tell anyone," said Rahson.

But Rahson said this is one secret he kept to himself during the entire school year.

"I know that being homeless is a serious secret. That's the secret I didn't spill," he said.

Five years ago, Darice Greene moved from Pittsburgh to Jacksonville in pursuit of a better life. Then the economy tanked and she was unable to get a health care job for a number of reasons.

"Things just spiraled out of control from there," said Greene. 

Greene lost her income, then her apartment. She and her two children became homeless.

"I felt like yeah, I had failed as a parent," she said.

The family now lives, temporarily, in the Sulzbacher Center. Greene is working on her CNA license.

"I just completed my CNA training," said Greene.

Sabon and Rahson are doing well in school. Sabon is taking dual-enrollment classes with a 3.5 GPA and refuses to let being homeless erase his ambitions. He wants to work in the nursing field.

"When we get out of here, we will be stronger than ever," said Sabon.

Betty Burney, former chairman of the Duval County School Board, is with the I'm a Star Foundation. Burney said the foundation is made up of students and this year, the leadership-service program is tackling the problem of homeless children.

"We believe that one homeless child is one too many," said Burney.

Burney said their goal is to empower the 1,600 homeless students in Duval County.

"We  want to give a check to the School Board homeless student office," she said, "also want to provide scholarships to young men and young ladies who find themselves in a homeless situation."

The I'm A Star Foundation has scheduled a series of events on July 27th to raise funds to fight the problem of homeless kids.

First Coast News will be part of the effort on July 27th. We think think this is an important issue and one that is difficult for people to understand.

First Coast News will also follow the progress of Sabon and Rahson over the next year. 

First Coast News

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