Learning About Homelessness in the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Learning About Homelessness in the Tri-Cities

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- People in the Tri-Cities may not think poverty or homelessness is a problem for kids and teenagers. But the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee says it is something people should be aware of.

Community Action officials say for the most part Tri-Cities homeless kids are couch sitters, meaning they don't live on the streets but do not have a permanent place they call home.

Friday, teens gathered at the Three Rivers Convention Center to learn about what being homeless is like. Last year, school districts in Benton and Franklin counties reported over 300 students that were homeless.

And officials say, if those kids are teenagers, there are very few services for them to draw from. Event coordinator Megan Pierce says, "It is something that really needs to be addressed and that we need to find a resolution to."

Kids will spend the night at the Convention Center Friday. They will sleep in cardboard boxes and hear the stories of kids their age, who are homeless. Organizers say they hope the kids at Friday's event will be able to help those who have not been helped yet.