CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of homeless children registered in Charlotte Mecklenburg schools is up again.

An estimated 4,922 CMS students have been identified as homeless for the coming school year. That is a spike of 4.5% from last year’s number of 4,711.

A Child’s Place is a social service agency that focuses on helping homeless children.

“The unemployment rate makes it very hard for a single mother to find a job, much less one that pays a living wage–that would mean a home, food, and all the necessities that you need for a family,” said Executive Director, Annabelle Suddreth, of the latest numbers.

The new statistics reflect only the children who are enrolled in schools.

Estimates place at least another 1,600 kids out there that haven’t been counted–bringing the overall total to nearly 7,000.

Asked where the kids were when they were not in school, Suddreth said, “Some are in cars, abandoned buildings. They are in shelters. They are in pay-by-the-week motels, not the kind that have positive locations for children.”

A Child’s Place is asking the community to help.

The agency is asking for donations of an array of items–including pens, pencils, crayons, along with notebooks and binders.

There is also a need for money to buy public school uniforms.

“If your mom can’t afford that white-collared shirt and khaki pants, your red shirt and blue jeans will stand out,” Suddreth said, adding that a Child’s Place wants to make the lives of homeless children as normal as those of the other children they meet in school.

 From WCNC, July 19, 2012

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