Student Homelessness on the Rise

For a child experiencing homelessness, school can be a challenge. The student may sleep close to school one night and far away the next, or wake up in the morning unsure where “home” will be tonight. Shifting conditions and uncertainty can make it difficult to integrate into a classroom environment, make friends, and feel at home in school.

These are just some of the difficulties that homeless students face, difficulties that are growing more common as student homelessness increases in Washington State.

Under federal law, school districts are required to gather data on the number of students experiencing homeless. The Children and Youth Project at CLS analyzed that data and found that student homelessness had worsened by 12% from the previous year. More than 30,000 students are homeless in Washington. That amounts to approximately 1 in 34 students, with all corners of Washington affected.

“These findings highlight that no part of Washington State is untouched by the devastating impact of student homelessness: rich, poor, urban, suburban, and rural,” said Katara Jordan, an attorney with the Children and Youth Project at CLS.

For a breakdown of homelessness by county, see the key findings released by the Children and Youth Project.

Additional information, interactive charts, and other tools related to our data analysis are available at the Washington Alliance for Students Experiencing Homelessness.

The issue has received media coverage from King5 , KUOW, and others.