- Created: Tuesday, 02 January 2018 09:47
- Written by Carolyn Szczepanski
At first, the teacher thought it was just a creative excuse when her sixth-grade student said she couldn’t do her homework because her hands were too cold at night. But when the Elk River educator found out the student’s sister was also missing assignments for the same reason, she called Stephanie Klinzing.
Now a board member of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Klinzing, a former Mayor and County Commissioner, connected with community organizations to find the family to offer help.
It didn’t take Klinzing long to locate the students; their family was living in an old hotel that lacked basic amenities, like heat. With the assistance from a local nonprofit, the family was moved into emergency housing and it wasn’t long until Klinzing got another call from the teacher telling her the student’s “turnaround was immediate.” No longer living in an unsafe situation, the student completed her homework and began to excel in school.
Klinzing shared the story at the December board meeting of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, which, among other items, included discussion and approval of the Homework Starts With Home (program photo right) pilot program to assist the families of homeless or highly mobile students.