This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 16, 2012 10:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was More paper bags to recycle in Portland. The next post in this blog is Adams declares Vietnam victory in faded downtown. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, November 16, 2012

More homeless students in Beaverton than Portland?

That's what this story tells us. But we suspect the numbers are skewed by the vagueness of the term "homeless," as used by the reporter:

Across Oregon, 20,370 students -- or about 3.65 percent -- were identified by school districts as having unstable housing at some point during the 2011-12 school year, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education's annual count. Since the count began during the 2003-04 school year, Oregon's numbers had steadily climbed until it reached last year's high of 20,545.

Students are counted as "homeless" under the definition of the federal McKinney-Vento law. It includes students who are living in shelters, sleeping in cars, living on their own or living with relatives. It also includes students whose families are living in doubled-up housing situations.

A child "living with relatives" is "homeless"? Okay, we missed that memo.

Comments (7)

Even more so for the "doubled up housing." Beaverton has a fair amount of immigrants and under this definition every house with two families of Mexican immigrants would count as homeless.

Seems like the kind of definition you come up with when you want to justify more spending on low income housing/homelessness.

A child "living with relatives" is "homeless"?

That sounded strange to me, too, so I looked up the definition used in the legislation. In fact, a child "living with relatives" or living in a double-up housing situation (for example, a multi-generational household who lives together by choice) isn't
necessarily considered homeless. The child would only be counted as homeless if he or she met the condition(s) below:

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;


Seeing as 8.6 percent of housing units in Oregon are Mobile Homes


pulling in trailer park kids likely leveraged the homeless rate enormously. There are plenty of stable and permanent mobile home residents, and transient and stable as well, but apparently not so when Cynthia McKinney is conjuring ways to reach into the Federal Treasury. Why do you think entitlement programs cost so much?

Despite the common pejoritive use of the term "trailer park" when referring to mobile homes, I believe that the legislation is referring to temporary camping areas which serve trailers, not to permanent mobile home parks.

What bothers me more is counting the student as homeless if they are "living on their own."

How does living on your own in any kind of housing count as "homeless"?

Of course they also use the term "unstable housing" which may make more sense and apply to a lot more students.

It's the feds who spell out the definition of homeless, not BSD or PPS. And yes, a family that has no place to live and must double-up with other families is considered homeless.
Beaverton has done a better job of recordkeeping on homeless than Portland - Portland's numbers are up considerably from a year ago. But hey, BSD does lots of things better than PPS!

Just fyi, trailer parks are NOT the same as mobile home parks at all. Trailer parks are for those RVs that one pulls on the road. Mobile home parks do not qualify for homeless status.

Clicky Web Analytics