Monica called my attention to a Letter to the Editor in Wednesday's Morning Call wherein the writer pleaded for help for the victims of the recent fire in Allentown.
What especially hooked me was the following paragraph: "A roll of quarters given to Russell 'Rooster' Valentini, homeless coordinator for the Allentown School District, will allow a small family to take the clothes from a burned apartment to the coin laundry to be washed clean. If your children are in school in Allentown, have them bring in a roll or two of quarters to their principal for "Rooster" to use. He already has 500 homeless students on his caseload. Now he has more."
The online version of the letter includes only the first sentence of that paragraph Although I point that out, my question is not s much about the reason for the online omission but it is about 500 homeless students in the Allentown School District. Can that be?
A little Googling resulted in these possible confirmations: (1) From a 2006 Moravian College news release: In any given year, Rooster has to manage approximately 500 cases with active files normally approaching 75 cases. (2) From a June 2007 Commission Report on Allentown's Plan to End Chronic Homelessness by 2017: From 2001 through 2006, the Allentown School District documented in excess of 600 homeless students annually.
Now, if that is so, where do they stay ... and what opportunity for creative and compassionate ministry might it suggest?