Josh Cogan

An estimated 3,600 Dallas Independent School District students are homeless. Estimates put the number of those who are LGBT at somewhere between 20 and 40 percent.

In response, these DISD schools in collaboration with an organization called Focus on Teens, has opened drop-in centers that are open before school from 8-9 a.m., allowing students to pick up clothes and food.

DISD also has a homeless education office that acts as an advocate and activist for kids who are homeless, fighting discrimination against them and making sure they get the education they’re entitled to receive.

The Mayor’s LGBT Task Force supports DISD’s efforts and encourages more schools to open drop in centers. Josh Cogan chairs the LGBT Homeless Youth Committee for the task force.

Focus on Teens will be opening a non-sectarian permanent drop-in center in collaboration with Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, located directly next to Madison High School. A permanent drop-in will have complete wrap-around services for youth experiencing homelessness with computer lab, food, clothes closet and social services. Youth up to age 21 will be served.

DISD school with drop-in centers:

James Madison HS
W.W. Samuell HS
John Leslie Patton Jr. Academic Center (High School)
Woodrow Wilson HS
Maya Angelou HS
Franklin D. Roosevelt HS
Thomas Jefferson HS
North Dallas HS
Moises E. Molina HS
Sunset HS
Wilmer-Hutchins HS
H. Grady Spruce HS

Barbara B. Manns Education Center (Middle School)
Lincoln HS & Communications/Humanities Magnet
Sam Tasby MS
JL Long MS
Thomas J. Rusk MS
James S. Hogg Elementary
Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School

Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary
Cesar Chavez Elementary