WACO - Close to 300 teens in Waco Independent School District are homeless. Alarmed by those numbers a local non profit called The Cove is doing their part to help change the statistics. The Cove created a teen nurturing center aimed at ending youth homelessness in Waco. The center plans to open it's doors in early October. Homeless kids will be able to go to the center to do laundry, take a shower, study or just relax. Volunteers will also be on hand every night to cook the kids a hot meal. Program directors say homeless kids get exposed to dangerous things like drugs and violence on the streets and hope this center will provide them a space to stay safe.
"These students are more vulnerable to things such as human trafficking, sexual and emotional abuse and suicide, we want these students to know that the Waco community cares about them" says Elisa Jelley, AmeriCorps Vista.
Others say when children live on the streets education is usually put on the back burner so they hope the program allows them to be able to better focus on their school work.
"We want to help them graduate from high school and not just graduate but be ready to move into the next phase of their life whether that's a job, a training program or some post second education opportunity" says Cove Board Member Stephen Orr.
Program leaders say above all else they just want the kids in need to know that someone has their back.
"We're trying to help them know that just because life has put them down they still have a world of opportunity and people who care" says Cameron Allsep, Cove Public Relations.