The total number of homeless public school students in West Virginia has increased by nearly 1,000 students since the 2017-18 school year, according to the WV Department of Education.

The state Department of Education data for the 2018-19 school year says there are now about 10,500 homeless students across the state.

Homeless students are those who don’t have a regular and adequate nighttime residence.

The department says, using the definition, there are 131 homeless children in Calhoun.

Clay - 632
Roane - 212
Ritchie - 116
Gilmer - 15
Braxton 41
Wirt - 137

Rebecca Derenge, the state’s coordinator for the federal law guiding how to count homeless students says the increase has several factors, including drug addiction and a flood that hit the state three years ago.

The WV data says about 87% of homeless students are living with family or friends due to economic hardship.


Definition of Homeless Students: Homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Specific examples include living in: - Shelters, transitional housing

- Doubled-up with other family or friends due to economic hardship (not regular or adequate conditions)

- Unsheltered conditions (cars, parks, campgrounds, temporary trailer/camper, or abandoned buildings)

- Hotels/motels on a long term basis

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