Homeless Student Numbers Decline But Not Enough
The number of K-12 students who are homeless in Oregon decreased last year-- but just slightly. A new report by the state Department of Education shows the youth homeless count, district by district.
The Springfield School District had 450 homeless students attending in 2017--a decrease from the year past. Eugene 4-J saw a rise in student homelessness with 864.
The data indicates an overall *decrease of about 800 homeless students statewide. But advocates say student homelessness remains a serious problem.
“I feel as busy as ever because there’s always plenty of need,” Butera says.
Donna Butera is a Liaison for Bethel School District in Eugene. Her job is to protect the education rights of students who are in temporary housing or homeless. This equates to hands-on help like making sure a student is able to enroll without a permanent address or providing transportation to school.
Bethel’s number of homeless students decreased last year. But Butera says almost 9% of the overall student population is homeless.
“I’m glad that the numbers are down,” says Butera. “I hope that’s a good sign that people are getting into housing.”
A homeless student is defined as a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate night time residence.