Homelessness

Marquan Ellis was evicted from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was 18.

His mother battled with a drug and gambling addiction while he stayed at his godmother's house. But he couldn't stay there forever.

He found his way to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth where he enrolled in the independent living program.

Charity Barton

The Oklahoma City Council heard proposed loosening of regulations to an anti-panhandling ordinance on Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has an existing lawsuit over the ordinance, saying it violated the 1st and 14th amendments.

The ordinance impacts the ability of Curbside Chronicle vendors to earn money. The street newspaper helps homeless people build a work history and lift themselves out of homelessness.

We're doing things by the numbers this week in our weekly roundup of all things education.

167 of 1,113 public schools in Puerto Rico are open

Homeless In College: Five Students, Five Stories

Oct 4, 2017
Victor A. Pozadas

Earlier this year, 12 journalism students at Oklahoma City Community College were tasked with writing about the life of homeless college students in the Oklahoma City area. Below, hear our interview with some of those reporters and read their final story.

One turned to crime.

A second quit college.

The third moves from place to place.

The fourth is trying to help.

And the fifth has built a better life.

Five different people with a unique story and a common thread; each has struggled to attend college while being homeless.

Christina Broussard was trapped in her grandmother's living room for three days during Hurricane Harvey. Rain poured through the ceiling in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Broussard's a student at Houston Community College. Her grandmother is 74 and uses a wheelchair.

"We had peanut butter, tuna, crackers, we had plenty of water," she remembers. "We were hungry, but we managed. We tried to make light jokes about it — we said we were on a fast." And to pass the time? "We prayed."

On a recent camping trip, the itinerary for Girl Scout Troop 6000 was full of only-in-the-wilderness activities for these New York City kids. At a campground upstate, the girls — age 5 to 15 — milked cows and roasted marshmallows, and screamed when a moth flew by or someone found a spiderweb in the bathroom.

At the end of the trip, the girls left the cabins where they'd stayed and returned to the closest thing they have to a home: a 10-story budget hotel in Queens, where New York City's Department of Homeless Services pays to shelter homeless families.

Flickr / Matthew Rutledge

A one-night survey of homelessness in Oklahoma City shows overall homelessness rates are down by nearly 10 percent. However, survey organizers say not all of the results show signs of improvement.

This year’s survey, conducted on Jan. 26, finds the number of homeless people counted in Oklahoma City on one night was 1,368. Last year, the number was 1,511.

Photographer and journalist Katie Hayes Luke reported throughout the year on an innovative school for homeless children in Oklahoma City, Okla. We're not using the first names of students and family members to protect their privacy.

On the last day of school, the fifth grade students at Positive Tomorrows perform last-minute rehearsals for the inaugural "Classy Awards."

Update: New survey results out today show that the rates of hungry and homeless students at community colleges across the country are higher than previously thought.

The results, published by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, show that one third of community college students go hungry and 14 percent are homeless.

Those rates are up from 2015, when the same research team surveyed 4,000 community college students in 10 states, and found one fifth were without adequate nutrition. Thirteen percent were homeless.

There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.

Still, many say the problem is invisible to the public.

"It's invisible even to me and I'm looking," says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time. He says it felt like he quickly became a part-time social worker, too.

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