Number of Homeless Students in Monterey County Skyrocketing
November 30, 2012
The number of homeless schoolchildren in Monterey County leapt last school year, and is nearly six times higher than a count five years earlier.
New figures show that in the 2011/2012 school year there were 5,144 homeless students in Monterey County, says Cheryl Camany, homeless liaison for the Salinas City Elementary School District. That’s compared to about 3,600 the previous school year, and about 850 in 2005/2006.
“It’s just phenomenal,” Camany says. Some of these students and their families are living in automobiles, in rented closets, and in garages, among other places. The definition of homelessness includes a variety of living conditions that are not considered sufficiently habitable.
Just over half of the homeless students in the county are in Salinas, she says, citing numbers recently released by the California Department of Education.
In the Salinas City Elementary School District, 17 percent of students are considered homeless, she says.
The increase in numbers could be due to both better identification of homeless students, as well as a growth in the homeless population due to things like housing costs and the poor economy, Camany says.
(Editor's Note: the youth in the photo above were featured in a 2009 story about homeless children in Monterey.)