US hits record number of homeless children; NC story may be different

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WNCT) – Data released this week by the federal government puts the country at a record high for the number of homeless children in public schools.

The data from the Department of Education suggests the numbers have doubled since before the recession in 2008.

WNCT looked through the numbers for North Carolina and found that the state hit its highest rate during the 2011 to 2012. Over the past two school years, that number dropped.

The data looked at those student who had to live with other families, at hotels, at shelters and those without a shelter.

Number of homeless students enrolled in NC schools with or without McKinney-Vento Subgrants

  • 2007-2008: 16,937
  • 2008-2009: 18,693
  • 2009-2010: 21,019
  • 2010-2011: 18,022
  • 2011-2012: 27,625
  • 2012-2013: 27,369
  • 2013-2014: 25,815

The data for North Carolina also pointed to the fact that the most affected age group last year were students in kindergarten or third grade.

In Pitt County, the local shelter reports it is seeing more children this year.

In August of 2014, the director told WNCT they only helped 8 children, but in August of this year the shelter helped 18.

“That’s a whole bunch of children, as compared to the previous year, so the numbers are increasing and it appears also the numbers of just homelessness is increasing,” said Bob Williams, Community Crossroads Center Director.

Williams believes the increase at his shelter could also be from the new family rooms.

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