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Calif. Has Over A Quarter-Million Homeless Students, Report Finds

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Just over 4% of all K-12 students in California were homeless during the 2018-19 school year, according to a report released Monday by UCLA.

The report by the UCLA Center for Transformation of Schools found that there were 269,269 homeless students in California during the 2018-19 school year, which made up 4.3% of the entire student population.

In Los Angeles County there were 66,566 homeless students, or 4.4% of the student population, the report found.

Authorities today announced a new pilot program to assist homeless families with school-aged children living in three motels along the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor in Van Nuys and North Hills. The $770,000 ``Kids First'' program will be a collaborative eff
4-year-old Mary Puente with a backpack almost as large as herself carries new books at Hyland Motel in Van Nuys as authorities announced a new pilot program to assist homeless families with school-aged children living in three motels along the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor in Van Nuys and North Hills. The $770,000 Kids First program is a collaborative effort led by Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and includes the Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity, the Los Angeles Unified School District and three local nonprofit groups. The assistance will be throughout the LAUSD school year for 51 homeless families with 101 school-aged children living in the three motels. Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020 in Van Nuys, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

One in five community college students, one in 10 California State University students and one in 20 University of California students were also homeless at some point that year.

The report determined that the number of homeless K-12 and college students has increased 50% over the past decade.

Meanwhile, San Bernardino County recorded 31,180 homeless students, Orange County had 29,424, Riverside County had 19,675 and Ventura County had 6,247.

The coronavirus pandemic has likely increased the number of homeless students statewide, the researchers contend. Distance learning has also created new struggles for students "who depend on school for shelter, safety, adequate technology, internet access, and meals."

The researchers found that 70% of the homeless students were Latinx, while 9% were black.

"The prevalence of Latinx and Black youth experiencing homelessness requires more racially and culturally responsive strategies in education practice and policy," the report found.

RELATED: LAUSD'S Black, Hispanic, Disabled And Homeless Students Participated In Remote Learning At Lower Rates, Study Finds

The homeless crisis has enveloped California over the past several years and L.A. County in particular, with COVID-19 aggravating the problem. The 2020 Greater L.A. Homeless Count -- which was conducted in January, prior to the pandemic -- recorded 66,433 people living on the streets of L.A. County, a staggering 12.7% increase from the year before.

Last week, following seven months of deliberation, L.A. city and county officials finalized a $300 million deal to provide housing for thousands of homeless people who live in and around the region's freeways.

To read the full report, click here.

RELATED: LA City To Launch 'Kids First' Program Helping Homeless Families With School-Age Children

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