RPS McKinney Vento Holiday Program – one child’s story

Last week we told you about The RPS McKinney Vento Holiday Program and its efforts to  help homeless kids have a better holiday. Every week we are going to profile a family or child to get a better idea of what these kids are going through. The following is written by Alia Butler from the perspective of one the children in the program.

My family and I lived in hotels for too many years to count. I have lived without my own space and privacy ever since I can remember. When my friends say they are going home after school I say, “me too,” but I am not going home! I am going to a place where bed bugs really do bite! A place where travelers stop to rest for a few hours before they continue on their way. But this was our home, we had nowhere else to go but the streets. Our “home” was the type of hotel many people would not set foot in. I used to stay awake at night terrified of bed bugs because their bites left my arms speckled with scars. I would have been a better student, but the fatigue of sleepless nights would set in and I would sleep through class. Without the support of an extended family my parents struggled to provide for us and as the financial strain of life increased we moved into a shelter. After spending several months sleeping from church-to-church we were able to move into a transitional shelter and although this is not the home I dream of, it is certainly better than the hotel. As I move through my last year of high school I remain a member of the National Honors Society.  I have no doubts I am going to make something of myself. Next year I will be off in college studying for a career that will lift me out of poverty and homelessness and into a better life. Through all the struggles and hardships I have never given up on my education. I know education will allow me to achieve all of my dreams!

If you would like provide a gift or two email Alia at and she’ll email you a master list of gift requests or you can visit one of the three schools (George Wythe High School, Huguenot High School, Armstrong High School) to pick your own gift off the “Angel Snowman” display  If you are extra ambitious you can adopt a student or a whole family and fulfill all their gift requests. If you are interested in adopting an individual student or family please email her and she’ll pick a family for you.


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