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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.


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“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: 177134

Reported Deaths: 2467
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35310570
Washington23704229
Marion20393299
Clackamas15557204
Lane11802144
Jackson10077129
Umatilla800083
Deschutes731272
Linn422263
Yamhill413675
Klamath357159
Polk348452
Malheur343358
Josephine310062
Douglas306566
Benton277719
Jefferson207732
Coos198631
Columbia156126
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130428
Hood River113529
Morrow108415
Clatsop9078
Crook89519
Baker86714
Curry6049
Tillamook5883
Grant4304
Lake4177
Harney3156
Wallowa1585
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3725088

Reported Deaths: 61193
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122999823702
Riverside2976314547
San Bernardino2951314569
San Diego2756313681
Orange2692584902
Santa Clara1173792019
Kern1080611333
Sacramento1017871651
Fresno1007681650
Alameda856521477
Ventura803601002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus606491035
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41251560
San Francisco36117529
Santa Barbara33926445
Solano32086243
Merced31289453
Sonoma29734312
Imperial28024719
Kings22781245
Placer21957283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16301240
Santa Cruz15719204
Marin13868227
Yolo13581200
Shasta11747219
Butte11619196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598863
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399647
Humboldt365938
Amador363146
Lake341843
Glenn235925
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4297
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned470
Medford
Clear
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Brookings
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