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November 2017

Community event set to probe solutions for homeless students

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Washington had the eighth-highest number of homeless students and ninth-highest rate of homeless students among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to an annual report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH), which analyzed each state's homeless-student population.

Research also revealed:

  • one in every 27 students in the state is homeless, with about half of them in 5th grade or younger;
  • 87 percent of homeless kids in Seattle Public Schools are students of color, widening the achievement gap.
  • In a three-year span, when the number of homeless students in Washington grew by 30 percent, the amount of federal funding provided to help those students grew by only 8 percent.

Those findings were part of a report published earlier this year by the Seattle Times and, along with other data, will be discussed at a Seattle Times LiveWire event on Dec. 6. The event, titled "Homework without a home: Helping homeless students in Seattle," has a waiting list.

The Times' LiveWire series, presented by Microsoft, features discussions about vital issues impacting our region and its people. At the Dec. 6 event, the papers' Project Homeless team will "take a hard look at homelessness here, possible real-world solutions, and support services to help local homeless kids stay in schools, find permanent housing and learn to thrive," The paper says its goal is to go beyond discussing the problem, to start exploring real solutions with lessons learned elsewhere in the country, and to use social media and a multi-media approach to get the message out.