North County 5th graders head to Sacramento to demand help for homeless youth

ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Dozens of North County elementary students are heading to Sacramento to advocate for homeless students.

Supported by parents teachers and local politicians, the young students will be heading to the state capital on March 6 to ask lawmakers to adopt a law that helps homeless students.

SB 918 is the bill the fifth graders at La Costa Heights Elementary School believe will make an impact on the day-to-day lives of homeless children and those at risk of becoming homeless. The children say it would establish an office of homelessness in California for students and homeless people who are falling through the cracks.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if I woke up and I didn’t have anything -- not a home, no clothes and nowhere to go,” said fifth grader Olivia Bessemer.

The students first took their activism to the Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. She told them that what they are doing could make a real difference.

“If that bill passes, that will be a real law. That will actually result in more money going to people that don’t currently have it,” Blakespear said.

“SB 918 is trying to help actually find a solution and prevent (homelessness), “ said fifth grader Sophie Legaspi.

Students say their real-life civics lessons are having a profound affect on their young lives.

"Once I’ve learned about all the stuff in fifth grade, it changes my whole perspective on homeless people when I walk around,” said fifth-grade student Noah Friis.