many homeless female students without the means to purchase a dress
According to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a student may be coded homeless for
a variety of reasons, including those living in low-income multiple-family homes,
substandard housing, motels or public spaces.
“Most of the time it’s because they are doubled-up, trying to get back on their feet,”
Castro said. “A lot of times they will not be technically homeless any more, but once you
are coded as homeless in the school system you are coded as that the rest of the year.”
The benefit of this act, she said, is that it ensures that the student will receive the same
privileges, regardless of their financial situation.
“Iasically gives you rights, saying … the school system is mandated to make sure you have
every privilege that someone who has a home does,” Castro said.
Attending prom night, however, remains out of reach for many homeless female students
without the means to purchase a dress.
“prom dresses can be very expensive and they get
put very low on the list of priorities when you either don’t have a roof over your head or
don’t know where your next meal is going to come from,” said Lora Nation, a local mother
and family friend of Castro.
Motivated by the good cause, Nation searched her closet for old dresses to donate and is
rounding up more from friends.
“If by giving my prom dresses to Alicia’s cause I
can help one girl have her ‘moment,’ I’m happy,” she said.