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DALLAS (KRLD) – There are at least 2,000 homeless children enrolled in the Dallas Independent School District system. I’ll write that again: at least 2,000 homeless children. Yes.

Equally remarkable, there are people who are not only aware of this situation, they are doing something every day to try and turn it around. A good friend of mine is one of those people. She celebrated a recent landmark birthday by asking her friends to give back. Instead of buying birthday presents, my friend asked us to buy school supplies. We all met at Captain Hope’s Kids on a Saturday night to fill backpacks for children whose parents had no idea how they were going to get them ready for the first day of school.

I have covered stories surrounding children and homelessness before. I thought I knew the score. I was under the impression that I had an understanding of the situation, but participating my friend’s celebration as a “civilian,” without a recorder as a buffer, the staggering numbers and facts hit me in the gut. The packs of pens I had proudly contributed now looked paltry. Why hadn’t I bought more? The 80-bucks for a new Spider Man backpack filled with supplies means something entirely different to me than $80 means to a mother who had to leave in the night with her twins in order to escape abuse…..or to the single dad whose home was foreclosed on and is couch surfing with his toddler.

In part to ease my conscience, I went back to Captain Hope’s Kids a week later and put this story together.

I asked if I could talk to someone who had benefited from the donations and was introduced to some extraordinarily women at Exodus Ministries.

Courtney shared her story with me….

….and so did Cindy.

*Both interviews have been edited to protect the privacy of these women and their children.

Exodus Ministries is just one of the organizations that benefits from the donations made to Captain Hope’s Kids, which operates similarly to a food bank. Items are collected, stored and distributed from its warehouse.

It is important to know that Captain Hope doesn’t just make deliveries in Dallas – the problem of childhood homelessness is region-wide. No matter what North Texas city you live in, chances are, there is an organization or church aimed at helping these children have an easier time of a terrifying and traumatic situation. And, chances are, everyone behind those outreach programs would like nothing more than for the trend to reverse and for the overwhelming need to become extinct.

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