Compared to previous years, slightly fewer students in the Northshore School District, 151 to be exact, were considered to be homeless in 2011-12, according to figures from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Northshore School District counted 182 homeless students in 2010-11, up from 162 in the 2009-2010 year.
Currently, 124 students are considered homeless in the Northshore School District, according to Leanna Albrecht, spokesperson from the district. She said she expects the number to grow through the end of the school year.
Homeless students are counted as part of the federal McKinney-Vento Act, which defines a student as homeless if he or she lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
The act requires districts to provide homeless students with the same access to education as everyone else, including transportation to and from the same district that the student was attending before he or she became homeless, according to OSPI.
Statewide, the number of homeless students topped 27,000, reflecting an increase of 5.1 percent from 2010-11 and up 46.7 percent from 2007-08, according to OSPI.
According to OSPI's data provided, 40 of the homeless students in the Northshore School District were living in shelters, 82 were living with relatives or friends, and 25 were living in an "unsheltered" situation, which could include cars or campgrounds. Four were listed as living in motels or hotels.
For those facing homelessness, there are resources available. Click here to see resources on the Northshore School District website. Parents can also contact "2-1-1 Network," a statewide database of resources. See it by clicking here or by phone, dial 2-1-1 or (877) 211-WASH (9274).
Non-profit service organizatons in the area are also good avenues for the community to support, such as Hopelink and Nourishing Networks.
Students are considered homeless if they live in emergency or transitional shelters; motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds; shared housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship; hospitals secondary to abandonment or awaiting foster care placement; cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing or similar situations; and public or private places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for human beings, according to OSPI.
The lack of a stable home puts tremendous pressure on homeless students. Mobility rates are higher than students in homes, absentee rates are higher, health problems are more prevalent and graduation rates are lower, OSPI wrote.
Homeless Students in Washington State by School District
(as reported by each school district)
-- Data from OSPI