College student tackled homelessness along with books

KANSAS CITY — As daylight faded, Ed Charles would begin packing up his books in the Penn Valley community college library and worrying about a test most classmates need not worry about.

It was a part of his daily ritual last summer: Spend the mornings struggling to stay alert in class, the afternoons fighting sleep on the job, and early evenings studying until the library closed at 9 p.m.

Then roam the streets trying to figure out a place to sleep.

Every college has its own Ed Charles. The number of homeless students out there is unknown, but this year, for the first time, the application for federal financial aid for college includes three questions that will help identify them.

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