Inside WRAL

Before the story airs: Raleigh's invisible homeless children

Posted May 21, 2013

Cullen Browder

Think about the challenges many of us face every day. We worry about our jobs and making enough for our family’s needs. We stress about our children getting a good education, staying healthy and finding good friends. We struggle to find balance between work, play, and family.

Now, take all that and add in homelessness.

Last year, WRAL reported a series of stories about Raleigh’s invisible homeless. We followed a couple living in their run down SUV, sleeping in parking lots, and washing up in grocery store bathrooms. The plight of John and Lee Venable drew incredible response and kindness from our viewers.

It personally moved me. Life, however, is complicated. Despite support, they went through marital problems and a lost job. Finally, months later, they landed in an apartment.

This Wednesday, WRAL shows you a different kind of invisible homeless – children enrolled in Wake County public school programs. On any given day, more than 2,000 homeless children go to school in Wake County. Their classmates likely have no idea.

We will introduce you to a single mother doing what she can to give your two sons a better life. For now, they live in a homeless shelter. That doesn’t stop them from going to school, working and spending quality time together as a family.

When you start complaining about your day, I think seeing their struggle, their faith and their positive perspective on what’s important will make you think twice. Meeting them certainly made me reconsider the blessings of life. Watch the story Wednesday on WRAL-TV at 5 p.m.

PREVIEW Wednesday's story



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  • LastSon1981 May 29, 2013

    @JAT do you want her doctors name and cholesterol count as well?


    Don't last school she attended, 3 personal and 3 professional references. Her zodiac sign, rather she likes paper or plastics.

  • Mom2two May 21, 2013

    I think those are legitimate questions(JAT). I worked in a housing project, and had a girl scout troop there. We made cookies and brought them to the shelter for women and children. There were two families there that had been neighbors of these girls. These families were now homeless because allowed drugs to be sold out of their apartments. It was a good teaching opportunity to talk about the choices that parents made and how devastating that can be for their children. Not all homelessness is a result of poor decisions, but I believe most is, especially when it involves children.

  • pstroud2 May 21, 2013

    @JAT do you want her doctors name and cholesterol count as well?

  • JAT May 21, 2013

    haven't watched the video, but i hope you'll address where the father is; how much he contributes; if he's not alive, how much SS benefits the family receives; where they're family is located and why the family can't help out.

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