Amarillo, TX: Refugee kids living in poverty, homeless, sleep in cars

A few weeks ago we reported that Amarillo, once a “welcoming” community, is now in refugee-overload and asking the federal government to give them a break and slow the flow of refugees.  Amarillo is a ‘pocket of resistance.’

Somali women learning English in Amarillo.

Now, here is a story that all Wyomingites should note, poverty is increasing in Potter County with the increase in refugees arriving there and there is a cost to the local taxpayer and a social cost to the community.

From ABC News Amarillo (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):

AMARILLO, TEXAS — Over the years, Amarillo Independent School District has seen an influx of students who live in poverty, many refugees. Studies show when a child is food insecure and tired, they can’t learn. That’s why the district has employed social workers to make sure their students have basic necessities.

Sabre McLean was hired by AISD 12-years ago to work at San Jacinto and Margaret Wills Elementary when the principals at the time noticed they were spending a lot of time working on social issues with struggling families instead of educating their students.

“Amarillo has a lot of homeless families, families that sleep in cars, families that stay in shelters. And every night we have kiddos that are in those situations,” said social worker, Sabre McLean.

In fact, more than 23% of Potter County families are living in poverty, that’s according to the Census Bureau. A number that’s growing along with the refugee population. Studies show when kids are food insecure, tired, and embarrassed over worn out clothes, they’re not learning.

“When kids come in and they’re dirty, they haven’t had a good nights sleep and they’re hungry. My job is to provide those services so they can be in their chair doing their job and learning,” said McLean.

She works with the students and their families making sure they’re fed, clothed, and getting help with basic needs. But the only dollars spent AISD is on these social workers salary, everything else is donation based.

Does your community have a taxpayer-funded social worker to help poor refugee kids get through a school day?

Check this out!

I visited Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle, one of the primary contractors resettling refugees in Amarillo and they have this handy flow chart entitled, ‘Report on Refugee Resettlement in Amarillo’, which shows exactly what we have been saying for years—the program is so complex (they need a flow chart!) that the average concerned citizen of Amarillo could not possibly sort this out without spending many long hours in research.

LOL! Of course the UN is at the top of the flow chart!

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