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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 22, 2015, 07:35 AM

48. They've redefined "homeless" so the districts get more money--that's what is happening here.

If you are living with granny, or in Auntie's basement apartment, you are now considered "homeless" by those looking for federal funding/grant money. If you are living in "temporary shelter" -- for example, a hotel room, often in a facility largely given over to families without permanent housing--you are regarded as homeless.

So yeah, whatever. When I was a kid, if you lived with your grandma, you lived with your grandma. That was your home. It didn't make you homeless if a relative took you into their home--it made you "living with a relative" and maybe your parent(s) weren't thrilled, but you had a roof over your head. If you lived in a hotel or a short-term rental, you lived in a crappy situation, but you also had a roof over your head, a place to receive mail.

That said, if grant money depends on counting "homelessness" as having to live with relatives, or in a transitional housing situation, then that's the new definition.

Easy to make those figures go way up when you fiddle with the definitions. This is touched upon deep in your source:

The situation could be troublesome because the data released by the education department show an increasing number of homeless youth are living in hotels or motels, or doubled-up with friends or relatives. The percentage of homeless youth living in hotels or motels jumped by 9.6 percent from the 2010-11 school year to the 2012-13 school year, while the percentage of homeless students who were unsheltered - sleeping on the streets - decreased by 30.6 percent. The number of students living with friends or family also increased by 4.4 percent during the same time.


You can see how the topic is wrestled to the ground (if your home is "inadequate" then you can be counted as homeless) here:

http://www.homelesschildrenamerica.org/pdf/full_report/appendix_1.pdf

This Report Card uses the broader definition of homelessness as contained in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento
Act, Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and includes those who are living in motels and those who
share living situations temporarily because of loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons.
This definition more
accurately reflects the reality of family homelessness by defining “‘homeless children and youth’ as individuals who lack a
fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” The term includes children and youth who are:1
Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes
referred to as doubled-up);
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;

• Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
• Abandoned in hospitals;
• Awaiting foster care placement;
• Using a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular
sleeping accommodation for human beings;
• Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
and
• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

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