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Approximately 100 Washington Students Homeless at Some Point During the School Year

Posted: Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at 6:27 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Signs of homelessness and what to do if a student is homeless was a conversation the Washington School Board had at their recent meeting.

Board president Eric Turner shared the definition of a homeless student, “A child or youth from age three years through 21 years who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” Some signs of potential homeless students include inappropriate clothing for the weather, often expressing hunger, poor hygiene, living doubled up with relatives or friends, and living in unstable housing like a campground, hotel, or car.

Curriculum director Veta Thode says this is a problem that many Washington students face, “We have around 100 students each year who are labeled homeless. So, it is a significant number of students that sometime throughout the year, and once you’re labeled homeless during the school year you are homeless for the entire school year, even if you do find residence.” Each school building in the district has a homeless liaison to assist these students with connecting to area resources.

Under national guidelines, students who are identified as homeless will be enrolled while waiting for school records, will receive free lunch immediately without proof of income, and will be enrolled even if they are not living with their parents or legal guardian.