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Brattain House helps families with school supplies: 'I never thought I would be in this bind'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Summer is coming to a close and school is just around the corner. For many parents, back to school means more financial pressure, but the Brattain house is easing their burdens and working to provide low-income and homeless students the supplies they need to undergo their studies.

Through the program, they've supplied 1,500 students with backpacks this year.

Shane Beck and his 11-year-old daughter Brianna are participants in the McKinney-Vento program where they get to go shopping for supplies.

Brianna will be attending Hamlin Middle School in the fall. Her father Shane said he was injured three years ago when he fell through a ceiling while working.

"I hurt my back and had to go on disability, been kind of struggling with my disability and homeless because of that," he said.

Shane has two daughters and he said they've been staying at Catholic Community Services.

"I never thought I would be in this bind. So don't think it may never happen to you because it can. I would never dream it'd be like this," he said.

The Brattain house eases stress on parents who need help buying school supplies. They assist with not just the basic pens and paper, but also with clothing and shoes.

"For many families, they have to worry about paying the rent, getting the bills met. So for school supplies, especially three or four kids, it adds up," said Silvia Ceja, Family Development Specialist.

The Brattain House staff believes school supplies should not be considered a luxury.

"There's nothing like seeing a kid get a character book bag and see their face light up and even older kids, they want to feel like every other kid going to school," said Janet Beckman, liaison for the McKinney-Vento Program.

The McKinney-Vento Program also supplies bedding and hygiene products.

Unfortunately, the Brattain House said the demand far exceeds their resources. They're asking for donations. Supplies can be dropped off at their office at 1030 G Street, Springfield. They are also accepting checks and cash. One thing they are short on is glue sticks.

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