United Way launches new program to help homeless students

ROANOKE (WSLS10) - The Roanoke City Public School District told us there's 590 homeless students in our community. United Way in partnership with the Roanoke City Public School district and other organizations is trying to change that.

Thursday morning at the Roanoke Hotel, United Way launched RYSE which stands for Rehousing Youth for Success in Education.

The initiative is meant to understand and address the crisis by effectively housing families. This program has been in the works for a year.

Community leaders say the hope is that this program will help students succeed.

"It's an issue today, because each one of those children are carrying with them into their classroom a measure of stress that is a burden that is a distraction from their capacity to learn," said Afira Devries, president and CEO of United Way of Roanoke Valley.

This program only helps others in our community from generous donations.

The announcement was followed by United Way's annual award celebration which our very own Jenna Zibton emceed.