A press conference was held at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center to announce the launch of RYSE: Rehousing Youth for Success in Education. This initiative aims to house and support homeless children in the Roanoke Valley in partnership with Blue Ridge Continuum of Care, the City of Roanoke, Roanoke City Public Schools, Blue Ridge Interagency Council on Homelessness (BIRCH), and other community nonprofits.
With more than 600 students in the Roanoke Valley leaving school everyday unsure of where they’ll lay their heads that night, 80% of these children and their families are not eligible for existing programs designed to address homelessness. Their instability is hidden, as these families often find temporary shelter in motels or move from one home to another as reluctant houseguests in need of a place of their own.
Through partnership with local school systems and many local service providers, RYSE provides housing and life-stabilizing support services for families with school-aged children who face homelessness. Case managers work to secure services related to the family’s underlying challenges in the areas of academic support, employment, health/wellness, adult education, income stability, food assistance and other crisis interventions. “At United Way, we choose to fight for children and families who struggle with homelessness. RYSE is a beautiful example of our community coming together to create a long term solution for a pressing need,” said United Way President and CEO, Afira DeVries.