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WUSF News Staff
Wed February 29, 2012
Clermont Struggles With Homeless Students
The Associated Press has a terrific profile out on a homeless student in Lake County, the latest in a series of stories using Florida as the face of the Great Recession.
The story follows a 60 Minutes profile of two Seminole County siblings. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting looked at the rising numbers of homeless students and the toll on district services.
The Associated Press features Zach Montgomery, a 17-year-old living in Clermont whose parents both lost their jobs driving buses at Disney. It’s full of heart-breaking details
They’d been paying $950 in rent every month, but the landlord had not kept up with the mortgage. The rental management company told him it was the first they’d heard of any problems with the bank. She promised to look into it and get back to him.
He got the call at work the next morning. The sheriff was coming to collect the keys. Two movers were going over to help. In the matter of an hour and a half all of their furniture was on the front lawn.
And then it started to rain.
“Needless to say we didn’t make it in time,” Montgomery says.
Zach’s bedroom furniture and two living room sets were ruined. In between trips in a U-Haul to the storage locker Montgomery had rented, neighbors came and plucked items from the yard. When they went through the house one last time, the Montgomerys found the movers had hidden some of their items under sinks and in closets.
“They went through all my drawers,” Zach says.
Read the full story here.