Sierra Marie Bonn, founder of the social initiative, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” and the 2019 Miss Augusta, is trying to take on the issue of homelessness — and its effect on students.

“For students to succeed in education, they need to be able to focus on education -- not worrying about where they can sleep safely at night,” Bonn said.

She recently appeared before both the El Dorado City Commission and the Butler County Board of County Commissioners to inform them of her work on curating resources, in one location, for the homeless population as well as people and organizations interested in helping to address the issues surrounding homelessness.

Her initiative advocates for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education equity.

“Technology analysts have estimated that there are over one million tech jobs going unfilled in the United States, this year. In order to encourage more people to enter the innovation workforce, we need to address the root causes and the barriers to entry, which include basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter,” Bonn said.

According to a HUD's 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), on a single night in January 2018, there was an estimated 36,361 unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 25. Of those, 89% were college-age students between the ages 18-24.

“Homelessness is not a problem that can be solved by one person or one conversation. There are many individuals and organizations who are independently working to address both homelessness and the issues adjacent. By compiling information, we can build a compendium of resources -- for those looking to receive resources, and for those looking to provide them,” she said.

To that end, Bonn has created to be the central mode of curating that information. On the website, there is a form for community members and organizations to share their knowledge of resources currently available. This information will be compiled into a database for local governments, legislators, and people interested in addressing homelessness in their communities.

She requested the Commissioner’s assistance to help spread awareness of the website and to encourage others to share their knowledge of resources available.