Roanoke City Schools adds washers and dryers to schools for students in need

Not having clean clothes linked to students’ attendance and success at school

ROANOKE, Va. – Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen how school is more than a building for learning, it can be a resource for internet, food and more.

In Roanoke, now students at city schools will also be able to do their laundry.

Laundry seems like just a simple task on a to-do list but it can be a heavy load for students in Roanoke who are going through homelessness.

Malora Horn works with many of those students and their families as the homeless student coordinator for Roanoke City Public Schools.

“We’re getting close to having 500 students for this year which to me is amazing even during this time, the pandemic, when a lot of people haven’t been moving so much there has been a moratorium on evictions but once that’s lifted there’s going to be lots more movement,” said Horn.

Horn said when kids move due to an eviction or lack of housing it’s not always within the district, they may lose items along the way or just don’t have access to their belongings.

When the Roanoke Bar Association came to the school district with the money to help, the idea came to close the gap by adding washers and dryers to school buildings and replace the laundry machines that are already in some schools.

“If children don’t have clean clothing and they don’t have those resources they’re not going to come to school. That’s something that’s very difficult for any student I think especially when you get into middle and high school,” Horn said.

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