Barrio Logan's Monarch School Hosts Fundraiser to Expand Mental Health Services for Unhoused Students

The Monarch School is a kindergarten through 12th grade school that is in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and the nonprofit, The Monarch School Project

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

A school that serves San Diego’s unhoused families has plans to expand its mental health services, as well as offer services for more children throughout the San Diego community.

“Now, it's really time for us to deepen that work and to make it available and accessible to other students who are dealing with being unhoused in other parts of our region,” The Monarch School Project President and CEO Afira DeVries told NBC 7. “We're growing our team, we're investing in growing our capacity around mental health and also behavioral health, making sure that teachers are supported by staff that can help regulate our students and help them stay centered and focused.”

A world of change has come to students struggling with issues related to homelessness at this San Diego school, NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia reports.

The Monarch School is a kindergarten through 12th-grade school that is in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and the nonprofit, The Monarch School Project. All of the students and families at the school are somehow impacted by homelessness. The school not only provides an education, but also wrap-around services and meets many basic needs.

There are about 300 students at the Monarch School, but DeVries said there are more than 20,000 students in San Diego County who are identified as unhoused.

DeVries said the pandemic has increased the rate of anxiety, depression and sense of isolation that these students experience.

“The implications of the pandemic are being felt probably more profoundly now than they were even a year or so ago, because now it's about recovery and it's about dealing with the emotional impact that our kids had of being away from their school environment and feeling isolated when they were already dealing with so much trauma,” DeVries said.

Zaira Martinez started attending The Monarch School after her mother left a violent domestic relationship and the officers supporting her case told her about the school.

”I don't think I'd be where I am without Monarch, without the support that was offered or even the mental health resources that were provided,” said Martinez, “It's all in-house, it's all here at Monarch. We have great therapists.”

Martinez graduated in 2014, attended college and is now employed as the volunteer coordinator at the school.

“It's just time for us to start thinking beyond the scope of the community we currently serve and support in these four walls,” said DeVries.

Contact Us