According to a report from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, state Department of Education data indicates there were 10,500 homeless students in West Virginia currently. Homeless students are defined as those who don’t have an adequate and regular nighttime residence. This accounts for nearly 4 percent of students enrolled in kindergarten through high school.
10,522 Homeless Students in West Virginia
A thread: There are 10,522 homeless students in West Virginia, a number so large it could fill the state’s largest high school more than five times. They’re sleeping in cars, hotels, shelters and staying with friends. @wvgazettemail https://t.co/4E6EOuMYZY
— Amelia Knisely (@ameliaknisely) July 21, 2019
If you break down the numbers, this means an average class of 25 student swill have at least one homeless student. Where is this student living? On a couch of a friend or a family member, in a car or RV or a homeless shelter.
The number of homeless students in WV increased by almost 1,000 students since the study was done for the 2017-2018 school year.
Rebecca Derenge is the state’s coordinator for the federal law guiding how to count homeless students. According to her there were several factors that played a role in the number increasing. Some of those include the flood that hit the state about three years ago and the opioid epidemic.
The reported indicated that 87% of the homeless students are living with friends or family as a result of economic hardships. As stated earlier, the total number of homeless students in the state has went up, there was actually a decrease in homeless students in 16 counties in West Virginia.
This is a big-time issue that needs to be addressed. Not having a home can cause students to miss school and also can cause them to need to change schools throughout the year, which can make things very difficult. Moving to a new school breaks down the students social network and makes them start over in many regards.
Let’s hope this issue is addressed. No one deserves to be a student while dealing with the issue of being homeless. These young students are at a major disadvantage and will have a very difficult time finding success in life.