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Teacher starts nonprofit to give kids beds

posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:09 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


             Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback has founded a nonprofit organization to give homeless students beds. He said becoming aware of the growing numbers of homeless young people prompted him to take action.

Barnsback said, “After learning about several students that are homeless/transient or sharing beds with adults and younger students, I solicited donations for a set of bunk beds, mattresses and linens. While this made life easier for one family, it revealed the depth and complexities of student homelessness. Requests for beds started coming to me at an alarming rate.”

            When Barnsback learned that one of his son’s friends is one of these families, doing nothing was no longer an option. He said, “How can we expect kids to dream about the future when they don’t even have their own bed?”

Barnsback founded One Head-One Bed as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing portable beds to homeless students in public schools. He said, “No matter where they stay, students should always have the comfort and security of sleeping in their own bed.” Barnsback reached out to a friend at Disc-o-Bed, and a natural partnership was formed.

With the help of generous donations from the Valdese Rotary, One Head-One Bed provided beds for eight homeless students in Burke County Public Schools before Christmas.

Mike Swan, director of student services for Burke County Public Schools, oversees the district’s McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act and delivered the beds to the Burke County students helped by One Head-One Bed. Swan said students who meet McKinney-Vento criteria include those who are living in a shelter, motel, campground or are doubled up with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship. The federal McKinney-Vento act first passed in 1987 and provides educational rights to students no matter their living situation. Those rights include school enrollment, transportation and services.


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Photos: ​Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback and several of his students accept a donation from Valdese Rotary for One Head - One Bed, a nonprofit organization that gives homeless students beds.


Heritage Middle School teacher Tim Barnsback and Burke County Public Schools Director of Student Services Mike Swan prepare to deliver beds to students before Christmas. Barnsback started One Head - One Bed, a nonprofit organization that gives homeless students beds.