Lawton community helps homeless student

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - An Eisenhower High School student helped improve the living conditions of a fellow student and close friend after he learned he was living in a shed by himself.

Kaleb Tipton discovered his friend Miguel Ingram was living not in a house but in a shed when he went for a visit.

"He was happy that he had a place to stay. I mean, he was just happy, so I acted happy, but on the inside, I was hurting," Tipton said.

When Kaleb saw where his friend was living, he took a picture and sent it to his mom before setting up a GoFundMe page for his friend.

Once Kaleb's mom, Kara, heard about his living situation, she picked Miguel up from work when he got off. Miguel thought he was going to get food, because he hadn't eaten all day – but she had something else in mind, bringing him to the home where he would live.

"I was completely in shock," Miguel said. "When Kaleb's mom first told me that I would actually be living here, I thought, 'What are you talking about?' This is insanity. This is completely crazy."

Miguel was worried about being able to afford the three-bedroom house, but Tipton's family, who owns the home, said not to worry about it – not only did the Tipton's step up to help him, but others in the community started donating household and hygiene items along with food and money.

"Now that I have my basic human necessities met, I can truly focus on my studies," Miguel said. "I can truly focus on my AI research. I can truly focus on all the things I've never been able to do. Lord, I'm really looking forward to it."

The Homeless Education Program through Lawton Public Schools is also lending aid to Miguel. And he's is not the only student facing these issues – the LPS website said as of 2016, there were more than 600 homeless students in Lawton.

Kaleb said he decided to do something not just because Miguel is his friend, but because he doesn't want to see anybody living in that type of situation.

"Especially when you're in high school," he said. "[He's] very intelligent and has a bright future and you have just stuff like this that is holding you back that you shouldn't be worried about as a kid in high school still."

Miguel said he feels blessed.

"Just having a support group like this, a community that's willing to support you through these tough times, that everyone has is just absolutely amazing," he said.

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