Numbers of homeless students rising in St. Joseph -

Numbers of homeless students rising in St. Joseph

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) -- The district has 106 homeless students, up from 59 recorded in the district this time last year, coordinator Deb Cook told The St. Joseph News Press.


"We have some students that are in the care of aunts and uncles of parents who have gone to prison. We have several this year at Motel 6 and the Budget Inn," Cook said.

Many students are from families that are homeless for the first time. Many lost jobs and had homes foreclosed.

Elementary students make up 48 percent of the homeless numbers, followed by high schoolers at 39 percent. About 13 percent of the homeless population are middle-school children, and there are more homeless students in the 11th grade than any other.

"My personal thought, I think it's because a lot of kids turn 17 their junior year, and I think there's a connection there," Cook said.

The school district provides some help through the McKinney-Vento Act homeless grant. This is the seventh year the district has received the grant, which finances clothing and school items for homeless children, tutors, transportation and various other expenses. The grant also funds workshops for parents of homeless students.

Only seven other districts in the state were awarded the grant this year, said Cook, who coordinates the grant in St. Joseph.


Information from: St. Joseph News-Press,

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