Haven for Hope helps homeless families with virtual learning

Here’s how homeless students virtually learn

SAN ANTONIO – “I was working. The pandemic affected me tremendously. So I became homeless,” Aurora Rodriguez said, admitting she felt overwhelmed this summer when she lost her job and her home.

Rodriguez is a single mom to a third grader, Aurora.

On top of trying to find a job and place for them to live during the pandemic, she also had to figure out how they would do virtual learning.

“It’s a bit challenging to raise a child by yourself and have everything shutdown,” Murillo said. “Thank God for Haven for Hope.”

Since July, they have been staying at Haven for Hope in the family dorms. They aren’t alone when it comes to needing access to technology and a safe place for students to virtually learn.

Haven for Hope says they are helping out 64 school-aged children with virtual learning that spans across six different districts and 20 different schools.

The nonprofit’s chief development officer, Celeste Eggert said it’s been a “learn as they go” process. Over the summer they have been able to connect each student with their school to ensure each resident student has the technology they need. Students have received hot spots, laptops, head phones and tablets from area school districts.

“I think what has been so helpful for us is having that community in schools staff member here on campus, our campus who has those relationships with all the schools that kids are enrolled in,” Eggert said.

Haven for Hope also provides wi-fi to it’s family residents. Murillo said she doesn’t know what she would’ve done without it, since she is also virtually learning.

“So I’m going through college,” Murillo said. “I’m trying to work at the same time. I had to switch to online and right now they have the wi-fi that I need to continue pursuing my hopes and dreams.”

And the help they’ve received at Haven for Hope has also inspired her daughter Aurora to one day do the same, and give back in the future.

“I think I want to work here,” she said. “I want to work here with worker Ashley because she has been so nice to me.”

About the Authors

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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