Number of homeless children in Sacramento jumps sharply

The number of children who didn’t have a home of their own at least once during the school year has jumped sharply since 2010, according to a recent study by the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition.

The report, called the Children’s Report Card, states that 10,404 Sacramento County children enrolled in K-12 grades ended up in homeless situations at least once during the 2011-12 school year—a dramatice increase from the reported 7,254 students over the 2009-10 school year.

The report sounded alarms for homeless and youth advocates in the region.

“The statistics are shocking and should be a call to action for the County Board of Supervisors and School District officials to address this rising crisis,” Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, said in the nascent group’s most recent press release.

Valerie Cousins of the Children’s Coalition agrees the numbers are troubling. Regarding the methodology, Cousins said the count isn’t necessarily uniform, and that schools report the numbers to the county office of education. But the rise in Sacramento’s reported homeless students, twice the national rate, is certainly worth our attention.

The two school districts experiencing the highest rates of student homelessness last school year were Robla, at 20 percent, and Galt Joint Union, with 15 percent.

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