It almost surreal and hard to imagine but inside Whitney Elementary School in East Las Vegas, nearly 85 percent of the children are homeless. That’s 518 kids out of 610!
The school Principal Sherrie Gahn told CBS News, “I thought that I saw the ultimate poverty when I got here eight years ago and every year it has gotten worse and the recession made it ten times worse.”
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Gahn knew she had a problem that a traditional public school could not fix.
“When I saw the children eating ketchup for lunch, and wanting to take it home,” she says, “it just crushed me.”
So Gahn came up with a plan involving the kids, their parents and the community.
“I told the parents that I would give them whatever they need,” Gahn says.
“All I need them to do is give me their children and let me teach them.
In turn I will give you food and clothes and we will take them to the eye doctor. I will pay your rent, pay your utilities, but keep your child here.”
The children get free clothes, free bread to bring home and even free haircuts.
Almost all of it given by 500 donors and local businesses who drop off donations daily.
Gahn creates a wish list, and her army of volunteers makes it happen.