SHIP helps students break the cycle of homelessness.
Frederick, Md. (NS) – The Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) has announced Melissa Muntz as their new Executive Director.
Muntz said SHIP works to bring down barriers that homeless students face in Frederick County.
“That can look a variety of different ways and we really do strive to have a custom approach for each young person that’s experiencing homelessness and how we can work to achieve goals that are important to them,” said Muntz.
She said student homelessness can take several forms.
“It’s not necessarily people sleeping in a park outside at night, although certainly that does happen. Many of the people that we’re working with are couch-surfing, they’re staying with a relative… they’re staying among different friend’s homes,” she explained.
Muntz said focusing on basic human needs can make it hard for students to finish high school and get gainful employment.
She added that many homeless students do not have their Social Security Cards and Birth Certificates. Muntz said SHIP can help obtain these documents.
“We can actually help the young people navigate this process and make sure that they over time are able to obtain this documentation so that they can open a bank account, get a job and get a driver’s license,” Muntz said.
She said there are currently over 800 Frederick County Public Schools students who are homeless.