More Oregon students are homeless, a trend that’s going on its fourth consecutive year. KLCC’s Brian Bull has more.
The state education department says in the last academic year, more than 22,000 students either slept in shelters or the streets, or bounced from one residence to the next, like a motel or relative’s home. That rate’s up 5.6 percent from the previous year. And up 19.2 percent from 2014.
Deborah Dailey is the homeless student liaison for Eugene’s 4-J District. She says there’s 835 homeless students in the district, two dozen more than in 2016-17. She says on the bright side, the increase comes from better identification and reporting. But on the flip side…
“It would be the fact that we have absolutely no or very little affordable housing," she tells KLCC.
"I definitely know families that have waited over a year to find an apartment, and I know families that are leaving regularly, if they can, to go anywhere else to see if they can find affordable housing.”
Roughly 1 out of 20 school districts in Oregon have homeless student rates of 10 percent or higher. The state received half a million dollars in federal funds for competitive grants last year, for homeless student services.
Copyright 2017, KLCC.