September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Manteca launching education program as part of homeless outreach

Local News

MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) — A partnership between the city of Manteca, the police department and the school district is taking homeless outreach a step further. 

The three entities are working to provide services to those experiencing homelessness who want to better their lives through education. 

“We’re really excited about that opportunity,” said Brad Harrison, principal of Manteca Adult School. 

Harrison says they will prepare students to take and pass their high school equivalency test. 

“Where you are in your educational career, you know, we can bridge that gap, and we’d be glad to be a really, you know, helpful partner and assist everyone in reaching their goals,” Harrison said. “And I think with the programs we have in place that’s really attainable.”

According to the Manteca Unified School District, the city will set up a place at the temporary homeless shelter on Industrial Parkway for students to have access to equipment like tablets or laptops. 

“These people aren’t just dealing with homelessness. They’re dealing with other adult type issues that they have to navigate,” said Larry Machado. “So, sometimes education doesn’t always take the priority, and we understand that. So we try to help them, you know, as much as we possibly can.”

Machado, an adult school academic counselor, says the program will be individualized so teachers can streamline the process. 

“It really takes away a lot of the guesswork for instructors. So we don’t, we don’t have to spend a lot of time working on what people already have as strength,” Machado. “We diagnose our weaknesses and help them focus on the aspect of adult education.”

For those truly motivated to turn their life around, the district says they also offer job placement, certificate training for certain industries or guidance to further their education and go on to college.

MUSD says getting off the streets, passing high school equivalency and getting a livable wage job is attainable for those willing to put in the work. 

“We know just walking in the door to say, ‘I, I need this, or I need help with this.’ That’s tough. It’s tough for an adult to want to do that.” Machado said. “That’s why we want to try to put them at ease as much as we possibly can. 

“Our job with Manteca Unified School District is to educate, so, when they walk in our door, we do our best to to meet them where they’re at and get them where they need to go,” Harrison said. 

Enrollment for the new school year will open in August. For more information about the program and other programs offered, click or tap here. 

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