300,000 U.S. Students Live in Shelters, Motels or on the Street

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Homeless shelter in Fort Worth, Texas (photo: John Moore, Getty Images)

For hundreds of thousands of students in the United States, their school day begins waking up in a homeless shelter, in a motel, or on the street.


It is estimated that about 300,000 American children in the 2012-2013 school year were living under these conditions while attending school, according to a new report (Education for Homeless Children and Youth) from the Department of Education. A breakdown of homeless conditions revealed 192,391 were in shelters, 70,458 were in hotels or motels, and 41,635 were without shelter of any kind.


Overall, 1.3 million students were classified as homeless, a record total, the report says. That was 8% more than during the previous school year and an 18% increase since the 2010-2011 school year. The vast majority of them (936,441) were “doubled-up,” living in the homes of friends or relatives. Nearly 76,000 homeless students lived on their own.


 “The new data means that a record number of kids in our schools and communities are spending restless nights in bed-bug infested motels and falling more behind in school by the day because they’re too tired and hungry to concentrate,” Bruce Lesley, president of the First Focus Campaign for Children, said in a statement.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Education for Homeless Children and Youth (Consolidated State Performance Report Data) (pdf)

Record Number of Public School Students Nationwide Are Homeless (by Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post)

More than One Million Schoolchildren in U.S. are Homeless (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Alan8 9 years ago
The Democrats have agreed with the Republicans to do nothing about homelessness, while squandering hundreds of billions on the military. Yet another reason I vote Green Party.
Frank McEvoy 9 years ago
Sounds like a Republican wet dream to me.

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