Monterey County’s homeless student population is massive, so what are officials doing?

March 14, 2019

The Californian is helping spread the news about the Crisis on the Coast event we held on March 11th at the Monterey County Office of Education in Salinas, CA. The panel and forum discussed the report “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations” that outlines the findings of a study conducted by Pivot  Learning and National Center for Youth Law. Read the full report to learn more.

Excerpted from The Californian

Local education and nonprofit leaders are hoping to better identify and help homeless students in Monterey County, where about one in 10 pupils qualify as homeless, according to a November study – a number some suggest is low.

Monday, the Monterey County Office of Education and Salinas City Elementary School District co-hosted a discussion hoping to understand the state of education in communities impacted by family homelessness and recommend solutions for students.

Published by Pivot Learning and the National Center for Youth Law, the study “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations” found increases in homeless and foster students in Monterey County. The county also had far fewer services for these students compared to urban areas in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

It spoke to the community's future, said Gary Vincent, executive director of the Epicenter, a local nonprofit serving homeless and foster youth. “If you are concerned about the youth in this county at all, this should be a wake-up call for us and a call to action now.”

While Monterey County had average rates of foster youth within the Bay Area region, it far outpaced other counties in the rate and total number of students experiencing homelessness. Local homeless and foster students are more likely to be English learners and people of color.

“What it did, the bottom line, is it raised awareness in our community,” said Salinas City Elementary Homeless Liaison Cheryl Camany.

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