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Help needed for homeless students in Duval county

6:09 PM, Jul 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In June we introduced you to two Duval county students who were homeless. 

Since we last spoke with them things have changed, but remained the same.

Tabitha,15, and her family recently moved from the Sulzbacher Homeless Shelter into transitional housing.

"Things are going a lot better," she said.

Tabitha said now there's less stress within her family and her favorite part is that the kitchen is always open.

"I can wake up eleven or twelve at night and be hungry and get some food," said Tabitha. "Here, at the homeless shelter, we weren't allow to do that."

Tabitha is keeping a video diary of this season in her life. The eleventh grader who dreams of college and a dancing career believes the issue of homeless students needs more attention.

"Even though I am one of those people that need help," she said,"I want to be one of the people who can help other people as well,"

"I think if I can do that other people can too," she said.

Seventeen year old Sabon and his family are still living at the Sulzbacher Shelter. They've called it home for the past ten months.

"I hope we can move soon," said Sabon. "Soon meaning no more than two months."

Sabon wants a career in healthcare and this Summer he spent ten hours in an ER shadowing his mentor.

"The situation that you're in is just a pit stop," said Sabon, "It is not the end."

Sabon said this Summer his focus is college, entrance exams and scholarships. Sabon is also keeping a video diary of his life.

"I'm planning all the time, planning," he said," I just don't tell anyone."

This weekend, July 27, the 'I'm a Star Foundation' and First Coast News plan to raise awareness of homeless students.

Betty Burney is the executive director of 'I'm A Star Foundation'.

"If you have an opportunity to go home and sleep in your own bed that is your own choosing and you are bless," said Burney. "There are 1900 students in Duval county who do not have that opportunity."

On Saturday there's a walk at 8 a.m. at Jacksonville Landing to raise funds for scholarships and the Duval County homeless student education office. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m..

At 5 p.m. there's a celebrity basketball game at Paxon High, where the legendary Artis Gilmore will be on hand. At the First Coast News studio there's a telethon where anyone can call and pledge.

Sabon and Tabitha will do their part, but they need your help.

"This is a city wide problem and it is going to take a city to tackle it," said Burney.

First Coast News

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