Washington Homeless Student Numbers Continue To Climb

Feb 2, 2016

More than 35,000 public school students in Washington were homeless last school year - according to new figures released Tuesday.

More than three percent of Washington students are homeless. About two-thirds those kids are in families that are doubled-up with other families. The number of kids living in hotels and in shelters continues to rise, as well. The state counted more than 1,600 kids living completely without shelter - up from around 1,000 in 2011.

Nathan Olson is a spokesman for Washington's Department of Education.

"It's been by my calculations, at least seven years in a row that the numbers have been increasing,” Olson said. And - that's a shame, it's very much a shame. No student should have to worry, at four o'clock in the afternoon, where am I going to sleep tonight?"

Oregon has fewer students overall than Washington, but more Oregon students are categorized as completely lacking shelter than in Washington.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting.