David Martin Davies

This is the time of year for a back-to-school shopping spree. Young students gear up with new clothes and a backpack full of the pencils, pens, paper and gizmos needed to succeed. But for the homeless children of Texas, being able to walk into a classroom on that first day – and eventually graduate – is just a dream. There are people and programs in the state, however, that are working to make those dreams come true.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

For the past seven years, Charity Navigator has ranked SAMMinistries as a 4-star charity, which places it in the top 2% of charities across the U.S.

Programs like the SAMMinistries Transition Living and Housing Center on Blanco road, which can house nearly 80 families every day, helped the charity reach the 4-star status.

“This a place where families get the opportunity, for up to two years, to work themselves back to self-sufficiency," said SAMMinistries President and CEO Navarra Williams.

San Antonio Potters Guild

Members of the San Antonio Potters Guild have been hard at work for months, creating thousands of bowls to benefit SAMMinistries this weekend.

For months now, pottery students Linda Perez and Deb Ferris and a dedicated group of fellow potters have been crafting bowls of different shapes and sizes to benefit San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries.

“This is a 12-hour process,” said Perez. “You change the ratio of air and gas so that reduction occurs two times during the firing.”

Eileen Pace / TPR News

On Thursday SAMM Ministries celebrated its 30th year of serving San Antonio families who need a little help to get back on their feet.

The ministry also announced a major fundraising campaign. The new Help, Hope and Home fundraising campaign seeks to raise $8 million dollars over three years.

According to SAMM CEO Navarra Williams, children are the most severely impacted by homelessness.

"Homeless children are twice as likely to be hungry, develop a laundry list of illnesses, and get behind in school and reading skills," he said.


In the first segment:

Next Monday is the first day back for most public schools, including those at San Antonio Independent School District. SAISD heads into the new year with a new superintendent, a new set of curriculum requirements, a possible new deal with UIW, and likely a new set of challenges.

SAISD Superintendent Sylvester Perez joins us to talk about back-to-school excitement.

In the second segment: