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Number of homeless students drop in Estacada schools

The number of homeless students in the Estacada School District dropped from the year earlier and was far below the average in Oregon.

Estacada recorded 20 homeless students or 0.73 percent of the student body in the 2014-15 school year. That’s down from the 33 students the Estacada School District listed as homeless in the 2013-14 school year.

Statewide 3.6 percent of the 20,524 Oregon students in kindergarten through 12th grade were homeless during the 2014-15 school year, an 8 percent increase over the prior school year.

The Estacada district works to make sure these “homeless students have everything they need to succeed in school,” Terri Lloyd, the district’s homeless liaison said.

The district, in a confidential way, connects the homeless students with sources of clothing, food and school supplies, Lloyd said.

Homeless students can get medical attention at the Wade Creek Clinic, the Legacy Health clinic that serves students who may have problems getting primary care or mental health services.

Students are classified as homeless if they are living in a shelter or motel, sharing housing due to economic hardship, or living in an “unsheltered situation” such as a vehicle or tent.

Most of the homeless students in Estacada are doubled up with other families, Lloyd said.

“Despite an improving economy, many Oregon families are still struggling just to meet their most basic needs,” said Oregon Department of Education deputy superintendent Salam Noor said in a statement.

But, he added that, “I know that this is an issue that our local communities, social services partners, and schools are working to address. I am very proud of the good work done by our school district homeless liaisons to reach out to students and families and provide support during such a challenging time.”