BULLITT CO, KY (WAVE 3) - From mental health counseling, family services, FAFSA assistance, college prep, career counseling, substance abuse counseling, or providing clothing and meals to the homeless student population, the Youth Services Program at Bullitt Central High School is a full service operation.
Out of about 1,400 students at Bullitt Central High School, Youth Services Coordinator Christy Hardin said she sees at least 500 of them for individual services.
"People think of school as reading, writing and arithmetic," Hardin said. "Our kids can't focus on that if they don't know where they're going to lay their head at night. I have the largest homeless student population in Bullitt County and I work very closely with those students."
In September, the department learned they would face serious budget cuts; eight percent of their budget was slashed. Despite the growing need for services, the budget continues to face cuts.
"Our budget has been being decreased every year," Hardin said. "The highest budget was in 2008."
In the eleventh hour, the Bullitt County School District stepped in to supplement the cost of the cuts, recognizing the need that exists within the high school.
"My students said that 36 percent of them have been in counseling of some sort and 30 percent are on some kind of anti-psychotic or psychotropic medication," Hardin said.
But now there's concern over the future. If additional cuts persist, there's a possibility after school and summer programming would be eliminated.
The school system is now making a plea to those in Frankfort to consider their students before moving forward with next year's budget. Hardin said her department will do everything it can to make sure students at Bullitt Central are served.