Oswego (WSYR-TV) -- There’s a new push in Oswego to call attention to the city’s homeless and behind that effort is a 12-year-old girl.
“Everyone deserves to be treated equally and some people have a hard time. If you get pushed down, sometimes you need help getting back up,” said Emily Bradshaw, a seventh grade student at Oswego Middle School.
Bradshaw’s not only spearheading a drive for personal items like soap and shampoo, she’s also lobbying lawmakers to help start a homeless shelter.
Oswego County doesn’t have a shelter but the city has more than 200 homeless people. They either live out on the streets, or go from couch to couch at home's that are willing to take them in for a night or two.
Bradshaw has vowed to be their face and voice, shining a light on what she calls a “nearly invisible problem.”
If you look closely, you can even see the impact in schools. Last year, the Oswego School District helped 64 students who didn't have a stable home.
A few weeks ago, Bradshaw addressed the Oswego County Legislature, calling for action.
“When they think of homelessness, they can think of me sleeping on the dirty street and having no dinner every night,” Bradshaw said.
“I’m proud of her. She’s so helpful to other people and it’s great,” said Middle School student Jacob Lewis.
“Having any number of kids who don’t have a home to go home to is sad,” said Oswego Schools Social Worker Chalet Dewey Flint. “I hope people support Emily. She is an ambitious young woman and I hope we follow her lead.”
Bradshaw is taking donations of personal care items and gift cards. If you’d like to help you can drop off donations at the Oswego Middle School at 100 Mark Fitzgibbons Drive, Oswego, N.Y. 13126.