First families enter Roanoke RYSE program to end cycle of homelessness

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The first five families have entered the United Way's RYSE program that many of you donated to over the summer during the RYSE Up Roanoke telethon, raising more than $60,000.  Nearly 600 Roanoke City students are considered homeless.  They couch surf moving from house to house and staying with family and friends.

This program brings together multiple agencies and nonprofit groups to give families the tools they need to get out of homelessness. For some families that is help with deposits on an apartment and counseling so they can break the cycle.

"We're talking about 12 little ones that now have no concerns about where they're going to sleep at night no concerns about how they're going to have stability and be able to focus on their schoolwork and seven of them are in elementary school so we're talking about catching kids right it before they're at that stage in life where they begin to shape the future," said Afira DeVries, United Way President and CEO who made the announcement Friday at the annual Catalyst Young Leaders Society luncheon.

WSLS 10 employees donated $1,000 for the program to help other families.

You can donate online here: http://www.uwrv.org/RYSE