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Oregon had more than 22,000 homeless students last year, annual count finds

The count includes all students who lack 'a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence' during the school year.

Posted: Nov 21, 2019 10:43 AM
Updated: Nov 21, 2019 11:15 AM

SALEM, Ore. — There are more than 22,000 K-12 students who experienced some form of homelessness during the last school year, according to an annual count performed by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). More than 17 percent of those students attended school between five southern Oregon counties.

The count includes all students who did not have a "a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" during the 2018-19 school year, and represents a small increase over the previous school year.

"The 22,215 figure represents a two percent increase over the 2017-18 total of 21,746 homeless students, and a slight decline from the record of 22,541, set in the 2016-17 school year," ODE said.

Guidelines set out by the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act define a homeless student as one living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, shared housing with others because of lost housing or economic hardship, living in motels or in substandard housing such as tents or trailers.

Nearly 4,000 of the students identified as homeless last year attended school in either Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, or Lake county. Jackson County had, by far, the largest share of homeless students in southern Oregon with upwards of 2,200.

According to ODE, the recently adopted Student Success Act will do much to combat homelessness among students. The bill, which instituted a half-percent gross receipts tax on Oregon businesses with $1 million or more in sales and prompted a walkout by Senate Republicans earlier this year, promises $2 billion to Oregon schools over the next two years.

"Thanks to the Student Success Act, we’ll be able to do more to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school with a plan for their future,” said ODE Director Colt Gill.


RELATED: Student Success Act: Medford School District needs your help


“Right now school districts use federal funds to provide essential services such as clothing, school supplies and transportation to school," Gill continued. "Student Success Act funds will allow school districts to increase transportation so students can participate in off-campus career and technical programs, after school activities, summer school and other opportunities outside the school day."

Gill said that Student Success Act funds may also be used to coordinate housing for youth, and could make early-learning programs accessible to young children and their families who are experiencing homelessness.

Meanwhile, the Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program created in 2016 promises to build affordable housing for "vulnerable families," particularly for rural communities and communities of color. So far it has financed the building of 2,200 new family homes, ODE said. Lawmakers recently added $150 million to the program.


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Jackson County's most recent "point in time" (PIT) count of the homeless population identified 712 people — including adults — that were without stable housing or living unsheltered. ODE's count found significantly more homeless children than the PIT identified in total, although the definition of homelessness differs between the two.

At the time of the PIT count, the Maslow Project told NewsWatch 12 that it did not include many of the at-risk youth that the organization serves on a regular basis.

For more information on the McKinney-Vento Act or to view the data by District or living situation, you can visit the state's website here.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
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