, a block away from High School, has been home to homeless boys, so they could finish high school.
It was founded in 2006, and since then 13 of 14 boys actively involved in the outreach program have gone on to graduate. Joe’s Place board member, Nelson Mitten, said it’s unique in the United States, as far as he knows.
It was awarded in the form of scholarship money at the National School Boards Association's annual conference in Boston, on April 21 and 22.
MRH Board of Education directors Mitten and Lamar Agard accepted the award for Joe's Place at the conference, attended by more than 10,000 school board members from across the county, according to Mitten. Mitten is also a Joe’s Place board member.
Mitten told Patch, by phone on Sunday, that both boards are very honored.
“We think this is a tremendous program showing how both a school district and a community can come together to begin to address issues of homelessness that are probably present in all school districts throughout the country,” he said.
He said homeless students, especially boys, do not graduate from high school.
“(They) have now graduated and now gone on to college or military service, or employment, thereby, I guess validating our efforts in making sure that we get them through high school,” Mitten said.
He said the only concern is that for now, the school district can’t serve more students with the need, including girls.
He said the trip was beneficial to the district, as well.
“(Agard and I) both have attended a number of sessions. We were just talking before I called,” he said, “about a number of ideas that attendance at the conference have generated to improve the district.”