A Glimpse Into The Growing Number of Homeless Students In Spokan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

A Glimpse Into The Growing Number of Homeless Students In Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. -

Imagine for a moment being a child or teenager and not knowing where you’ll sleep tonight or where your next meal is coming from. It’s hard to wrap your mind around and yet there are 852 students just in the Spokane Public School district who do it every day.

“We went to a shelter because we had nowhere else to go,” one 17-year-old student who is homeless told KHQ’s Kelsey Watts.

This senior is one of the roughly 160 students of the 1,600 enrolled at Rogers High School who is considered homeless – the school with the highest poverty rate in the district, in the neighborhood with the highest poverty rate in the state.

“I know what I went through so I can only imagine how many other kids go through it,” she added.

The teen told KHQ she never had a stable home growing up because her family struggled with issues of substance abuse and violence. She’s lived in a homeless shelter and in a tent – and even her closest friends would never know it.

“I don’t want people to look at me different and go, ‘awww,’ because that’s not who I am,” she said.

“We have several kids here who are couch surfing, just looking for some place to sleep each night,” Rogers High School Intervention Specialist Barb Silvey explained. “We have some kids where this is the only place they can shower because they don’t have water.”

Silvey has heart many heartbreaking stories over the course of her 32-year teaching career, and has personally taken in more than two-dozen foster kids. In her classroom, you’ll find coats, clothes, shoes and toiletries any student who needs them can take – and the need is growing every year.

“A lot of people think kids would choose this,” Silvey said. “How in the world would you choose to sleep in your car when it's 3 degrees outside?"

Silvey works closely with Spokane Public School’s HEART program (Homeless Education and Resource Team) which helps identity students who are considered homeless, provide them transportation and supplies, and connect them with resources to succeed.

A local food bank also comes in on a monthly basis to deliver much-needed food to the students in need. Additionally, any member of the WEA (Washington Education Association) can get approved through the union’s children’s fund for $75 to buy a student whatever they may need most (i.e. clothing, socks, toothbrushes…). Teachers and employees can help up to five students per year through the donation-based account.

“Barb is a lifesaver,” the teenage girl added. “I never would have gotten this far without her.”

Now, the teen is preparing to graduate with extra credits and plans to earn her Associate’s degree at a local community college before transferring to a state school to become a family support specialist and help others.

The total enrollment of Spokane Public Schools is 29,256 and the latest data from the annual count of people who are experiencing homelessness in our community shows that 1 in every 3 is a child.

To learn more, visit: http://www.spokaneschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=1608

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Managers of Spokane Valley motel, 6 others arrested on drug and property crime charges following two-month investigation

    Managers of Spokane Valley motel, 6 others arrested on drug and property crime charges following two-month investigation

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 6:06 PM EST2018-02-20 23:06:06 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A two-month investigation into criminal activity at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley resulted in a massive raid and the arrest of 8 people early Tuesday morning. The Red Top Motel has had more than 100 calls for service since the beginning of the year, with many of those calls resulting in the arrest of known criminals who commonly traffic in drugs and stolen property.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A two-month investigation into criminal activity at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley resulted in a massive raid and the arrest of 8 people early Tuesday morning. The Red Top Motel has had more than 100 calls for service since the beginning of the year, with many of those calls resulting in the arrest of known criminals who commonly traffic in drugs and stolen property.

    >>
  • Spokane almost dead last on Washington's safest cities list

    Spokane almost dead last on Washington's safest cities list

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 1:27 PM EST2018-02-20 18:27:47 GMT

    KHQ.COM - The National Council for Home Safety and Security has released the safest cities in Washington for 2018... and Spokane did not impress. To determine the order of the ranking the Council used data on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes for every thousand people and also reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime report. Spokane ranked almost dead last coming in at number 79 (there were only 80 cities on the list).

    >>

    KHQ.COM - The National Council for Home Safety and Security has released the safest cities in Washington for 2018... and Spokane did not impress. To determine the order of the ranking the Council used data on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes for every thousand people and also reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime report. Spokane ranked almost dead last coming in at number 79 (there were only 80 cities on the list).

    >>
  • Four-year-old fighting for his life after flu hospitalization

    Four-year-old fighting for his life after flu hospitalization

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 8:50 PM EST2018-02-21 01:50:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Randall and Jill Kimberling didn’t think it would happen to their child. But on February 4 their four-year-old son, Levi, started to fill ill. “We were the parents who looked at him and said ‘that wouldn’t happen to our child. He’s super healthy and super energetic’,” said Randall. “To watch him lay there and not move is hard.” By February 5, Levi’s fever reached 99 degrees. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Randall and Jill Kimberling didn’t think it would happen to their child. But on February 4 their four-year-old son, Levi, started to fill ill. “We were the parents who looked at him and said ‘that wouldn’t happen to our child. He’s super healthy and super energetic’,” said Randall. “To watch him lay there and not move is hard.” By February 5, Levi’s fever reached 99 degrees. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Following 2-year investigation, Spokane arson suspect arraigned

    Following 2-year investigation, Spokane arson suspect arraigned

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:21 AM EST2018-02-21 06:21:41 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County firefighters and the Department of Natural Resources reports Tuesday that an arson investigation going back to 2016 has ended with the arraignment of a suspect in connection to fires in the Little Spokane and Rutter Parkway area.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County firefighters and the Department of Natural Resources reports Tuesday that an arson investigation going back to 2016 has ended with the arraignment of a suspect in connection to fires in the Little Spokane and Rutter Parkway area.

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th

    Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:20 AM EST2018-02-21 06:20:03 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 20th.

    >>
  • Police: Pasco man arrested in 1 killing linked to another

    Police: Pasco man arrested in 1 killing linked to another

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:13 AM EST2018-02-21 06:13:25 GMT

    PASCO, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say a Pasco man arrested in a killing last week has now been linked to a second death - that of an 82-year-old woman.    The Tri-City Herald reports that Hector Orozco Jr. was arrested in the stabbing of 39-year-old Demetrius Graves last Wednesday.

    >>

    PASCO, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say a Pasco man arrested in a killing last week has now been linked to a second death - that of an 82-year-old woman.    The Tri-City Herald reports that Hector Orozco Jr. was arrested in the stabbing of 39-year-old Demetrius Graves last Wednesday.

    >>