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1,500 Homeless Kids Attend Butte County Schools

The Chico Unified School District defines a homeless student as one that lives anywhere from a shelter, to a car, or even on the streets.

Posted: Sep. 17, 2018 5:39 PM
Updated: Sep. 19, 2018 5:57 PM

UPDATE: 9/19/18

CHICO, Calif. - Since Action News Now first reported on this story, reps at the Chico Unified school district tells reporter Stephanie Lin that viewers are now reaching out for more information on how they can help homeless students in Butte County.

The district says they are now setting up an account to receive monetary donations that will be directed towards helping homeless youth.

The donation account we are told, will be ready in the next day or so.

"We've heard a lot from the community," says Mike Allen, Principal of Chapman Elementary. "Just an outpouring of folks wanting to donate to Chapman for our homeless students, and we really appreciate it."

The district also says it will accept backpacks and other physical donations but have limited storage space.

As an alternative, they recommend viewers send donations to the ILP store in Chico, which provides homeless and foster youth with cheap or in some cases, free clothes and other merch kids might need for school.

We'll continue to share with you on any new updates to this story.

CHICO, Calif. - Roughly 1500 local kids started the school year, homeless. That's according to the Butte County Office of Education.

About 33 percent, or 500 of all homeless students countywide, go to school in Chico.

A source shares with Action News Now that the Chico Unified School District has about 14,000 students. That means there is one homeless student per every single K-12 classroom. 

The district tells reporter Stephanie Lin that they've seen a steady increase in the number of homeless students in the last couple of years, which has also given rise to support services. 

"We do things like getting them into our school bus route system," said Ted Sullivan, Elementary Education Director. "We also provide gas vouchers, transportation and easy enrollment, free breakfast and lunch. At the high school level, they get reduced credit needs to get to graduation smoother."

Homeless youth services could gain more funding support if the Chico City Council votes in October to declare an emergency shelter crisis.

That would bring nearly $5 million in state money to the county for homeless support services.

Five percent of that funding must go toward supporting homeless youth.

Anyone interested in donating to support homeless students is encouraged to get in touch with the Butte County Office of Education or the Chico Unified School District.

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