Homeless student number jumps in District 150

Mar 25, 2013

The number of reported homeless students in District 150 jumped 50-percent compared to last academic year.  Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports:   
 District 150 gets federal and state funding to support the number of students without a regular residence.  422 students were counted as homeless last school year.  That number jumped to 635 this year.  York Powers is the District 150 Family and Community coordinator.  He says the increase is partly the result of the economy:

 “What we do see, how easy it is for a family to fall on hard times and maybe lose housing and simply go through a housing transition where ‘I can’t afford my mortgage or I can’t afford my rent payment so I move back in with mom or grandma until I get back on my feet,” Powers says.

 The funding for homeless students helps pay for uniforms, transportation and medical services. Powers says the 50-percent jump in homeless students is also because staff are doing a better job of identifying students who are homeless.  The School Board also voted to cancel its annual $200,000 contract that pays for Park District staff to run the ELITE program at Trewyn school. The District is considering moving the student behavior program to another building this fall.