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: 357526

Reported Deaths: 4284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55810707
Washington38782324
Marion36837455
Clackamas29779309
Lane27744302
Jackson23059310
Deschutes20336125
Umatilla14492150
Linn12911131
Douglas12118243
Josephine9384196
Yamhill8715113
Klamath8020119
Polk737381
Malheur563677
Benton549431
Coos503794
Columbia382644
Jefferson376052
Lincoln319939
Union319549
Crook291846
Wasco288841
Clatsop244328
Baker203529
Tillamook196932
Hood River192837
Morrow185023
Curry180625
Harney113927
Grant100013
Lake93912
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1523
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4852216

Reported Deaths: 71350
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148510526549
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3678574183
San Bernardino3586775692
Orange3242885562
Sacramento1596362309
Kern1463481648
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921400
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen754347
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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