MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Hundreds of students in the Berkeley County School District are experiencing homelessness and to combat the growing problem, the district is collecting holiday gifts and basic supplies for students in need.
This year, social workers with the School District have identified 200 children living in homelessness. They expect that number to double by May.
The district's coordinator of at-risk youth, Elaine Swain, said homelessness looks very different depending on family situations.
"Homelessness in our county is pretty hidden," Swain said. "Kids that are identified as homeless are ones that are living in tents, they're living in cars, they're living doubled up in a one bedroom apartment. I actually just got a family that there's 14 people in one bedroom."
Currently, Swain and other social workers are collecting toys, clothing and gifts for children to have during the holiday season as a part of the district's ONEderland holiday gift drive.
The gift drive has been helping children during the holidays since 2016.
The district is collecting holiday gifts for children until December 17, but they also collect household supplies, toiletries and clothing all year for families.
"We are really in need of jackets of all sizes and clothes for our older kids, our high schoolers," social worker Emily Moeller said. "We try to make sure we are getting all their needs met make sure that these families are getting all they need during this holiday season and all year round as well."
Anyone who wants to donate to the clothing closet or the holiday gift drive can contact Renee Elvis at 843-899-8514.