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Letter: Schools can lift up homeless kids

Hauppauge residents' concerns about a homeless shelter that

Hauppauge residents' concerns about a homeless shelter that has added 10 children to a district school are prompting a Suffolk lawmaker to push for legislation to end the county's agreement with the shelter. (Oct. 9, 2013) Credit: Johnny Milano

I was excited to read the article "Homeless enrollment in school raises concern" [News, Oct. 11]. When I finished, I became sick.

The concern was not to end homelessness; rather, it was to get homeless children out of Hauppauge. It is despicable on Long Island that we continue to reject homeless people. It is also despicable that our lawmakers are considering legislation to end the agreement with the shelter.

Our homeless children face many challenges. They shouldn't face more challenges and rejection from parents and lawmakers.

We need to work together as a community to embrace our homeless children in our schools. Let's raise concern by educating ourselves that homelessness is everyone's problem. We Long Islanders need to stop the "not in my backyard" response to our homeless population.

Homeless children have dignity. Supporting their education is a way to break the cycle of poverty, and this is the road we need to take.

Sarah Brewster, Long Beach

Editor's note: The writer is a leader of Circulo de la Hispanidad, a nonprofit social services agency.