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Residents Come Out In Force For Displaced Crossing Guard

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Deb Clark

Community members are organizing to help Deb Clark, a crossing guard at Washington Elementary School in Evanston, to keep her from becoming homeless. (Credit: CBS)

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EVANSTON (CBS) – The Evanston community came out in a big way for a local crossing guard facing homelessness.

People came by the dozen Friday evening to donate at Lake Street Church. Supporters had not added up all the money they raised, but they were confident they will be able to find a home for Debora Clark.

Clark is embracing a love she finds hard to describe. The Evanston community she has served for years gave back in a huge effort to keep Clark and her family off the street.

“I just can’t believe it,” she told CBS 2’s Pam Jones.

Clark is a crossing guard at Washington School keeping students safe. Last month, her own family’s safety became an issue, and a manager at her apartment gave her 30 days to move out.

With four kids and an income of less than $600 a month, Clark was facing the possibility of being homeless. It broke her students’ hearts.

So Friday, their families brought potluck dinner dishes, made greeting cards and filled a donation box with cash to help Clark find a new home.

“Deb has been a crossing guard for both my children since we’ve been here,” one parent said. “Someone who is hard-working should have a place to live.”

The support has inspired Clark to improve her life. At age 50, she wants to learn to read. She’s hoping friends and neighbors will help.

“I saw on TV where a lady was 90 years old and graduated from college,” she said. “I want to go there.”

Clark says she has tried literacy programs before. But she says one tutor laughed at her, and she was too embarrassed to continue. Seeing so many people willing to help has given her courage.

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