Saturday, September 15, 2007

School of Hard Knocks?

Even in this day and age, it is hard for most people to shake their image of who the homeless are: lazy, drunks, dirty, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and more. As much as we hear about how the inbalance in the economy is hurting even the middle-classes, and that everyday, more and more people become homeless, through circumstances beyond their control, there are some statistics in a recent AP article, as reported by KATU, in Portland,that focuses on Oregon, that surprised even me.
With 90 percent of the state's districts counted in the tally,
an estimated 15,517 homeless students attended
public school in the 2006-2007 school year, according to new numbers
released by the state Department of Education.
That's an 18 percent increase over the 2005-2006 school year,
and works out to about 2.8 percent of all public school students.

This is the third consecutive year that
the agency has released numbers
on homeless students, and each year,
the number has gone up.

How can this be in an economy that is supposedly improving? Well, for starters, and as pointed out by most credible economists and public services leaders, the increase in jobs that is driving this supposed upswing in the economy fall disproportionately in low-paying, non-insured occupations, that do not even come close to providing a living wage. In addition, the recent (and building) crisis in the subprime mortgage market has resulted in many heretofore stable homeowners to lose those homes, resulting in an increase in the number of homeless families. Read the complete article here.

1 comment:

Trouble said...

I was just reading this about the homeless students, i'm totally shocked. But then again i admire them, Being homeless and going to school cant be an easy thing to do. Sometimes we take things for granted, or complain about what we dont have, I think if you have a roof over your head your very lucky. I'm very proud of those students for not giving up.