People of PCPS: Ben Ruch on Helping Students Overcome the Challenges of Homelessness

People of PCPS: Ben Ruch on Helping Students Overcome the Challenges of Homelessness

Photo of Ben Ruch

When some Polk County Public Schools students go “home” at the end of the day, they go to a budget motel, a car, a mobile home divided by shower curtains, or even a shed.

It’s Ben Ruch’s job to help them graduate from high school, despite the litany of challenges their housing situations create.

“I’m passionate about serving this population, and about keeping these kiddos in school,” said Ruch, PCPS’ coordinator of homeless services.

For each of the last several years, PCPS has consistently identified more than 3,000 students experiencing homelessness. Federal law defines homelessness as the lack of a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence.

In his position, Ruch helps to ensure these students are able to enroll in school and remain at their school even if their residence changes. He also connects families with resources available from the school district, and within the community.

Ruch shares more about the district’s homeless program, his work, and the path he took to serving students experiencing homelessness on the latest episode of People of PCPS, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of the people who contribute so much to our organization.

You can watch the episode on YouTube or download it on Apple, Google, or Spotify. See for more information.

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