Alarming Number of Homeless Students

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email

An alarming number of students in Pueblo City Schools do not have a place to call home. According to February reports, 1,523 students reported they do not have a permanent address, and have spent some of this school year homeless.

Even more surprising is the growing number of teens who survive on their own. 57 students have to find shelter by themselves, many do what’s called “couch surfing” living at various friends houses, or they simply live on the streets.

These are the latest numbers from Pueblo City Schools. They take an annual student survey as part of the district’s compliance with the federal Title X program. The program is aimed at helping students in homeless situations.

And the numbers may be even higher. Posada officials say this is because most teens don’t choose to report it. Many times they are reluctant in order to not let their peers know, because they are running away from unstable homes of foster homes, or are afraid of getting in trouble with the law.

Anne Stattelman, Director of Posada, says that the numbers are indicative of Pueblo County’s high poverty rate, reportedly one of the highest in the state. According to the 2010 Census, the county has the highest child poverty rates in the state, an alarming 31 percent.

Stattelman says over they years the rate of ten percent for students reporting they were homeless sometime during the school year, has been fairly consistent. Where she becomes even more concerned is the number of those who do not have a family is growing.

Stattelman says many teens turn to unsafe adults who provide shelter or basic needs in return for favors, including sexual favors.

She wants youth to know they don’t have to turn to those measures to get their shelter, transportation, education, or medical needs met. She wants them to know they have the support they need.

"If they know that there are resources out there that they can get their needs met and a safe place, in a safe way, and they trust an agency or another adult, that's what we are trying to make happen. That there are people who care, there are services for them, they don't have to live that lifestyle if they don't want to,” said Stattelman.

Stattelman also hopes teens will realize how much potential they have, the talents they have, and will use their resilience to create a better future for themselves.

While there is no shelters for youth South of Colorado Springs, Posada can house teens 18 years or older, and can help the younger students find a safe place to stay.

Posada also provides outreach services, where they go out into the community and search for these teens who have become masters at blending in. They want them to know they are not alone, and that there is help available not only with Posada, but in the Pueblo community.

Pueblo City Schools does the survey annually, but count the numbers of students reportedly homeless three times a year. These numbers are from the latest count in February of 2012.

These numbers do not mean that the students are always homeless, but reported that sometime during the school year they were without a home or shelter.

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  • by Cassandra Location: PA on Mar 6, 2012 at 01:21 PM
    A lot of homeless teens have aged out of the foster care system & left with no resources or family to turn to. A lot have been thrown out of abusive homes. Many have been disowned because they are gay. Don't blame them. Sure there are a few with addictions & other problems. Care anyway.
  • by Tango Lima Location: COS on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM
    Check out Sierra High. A teacher there tells of many couch surfers. How can we help? Check out D-11 too.
  • by dee on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM
    it all depends WHY they are homeless. they also have to remember that no matter how old you are, there will always be rules somewhere, your job, where you live etc. why would a teen be homeless anyway. if the parents can't control, don't they become a ward of the state?
  • by mR x Location: se spgs on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    homeless because of their PARENTS. homeless because their no good. look up n down the streets at all the kids that are not n school....who's fault is that,,PARENTS. you shouldn't have kids if you're not going to take care of them. in CHINA you can only have 2 kids. need to change the law here also.
  • by @ Disgusted on Mar 6, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    Nice going! Good to see you support your far-left agenda by spreading lies. Way to go!
  • by Nath Location: Colo Spgs on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:58 AM
    Say thank you federal rules, regulations, "Free" trade and most favored trading partner Red China. Our downhill slid really took off thanks to Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon (who opened the door to relations with the Communist regime) along with Bill Clinton (who bestowed the most favored mantel on China). Until the government repeals thousands of those business killing rules and goes back to the "FREE" trade policies we had before joining the World Trade Organization, we will not see any recovery or prosperity as we had before.
  • by Tom Location: COS on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:57 AM
    The National Center on Family Homelessness “One in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. That's over 1.6 million children. While homeless, they experience high rates of acute and chronic health problems. The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experience also has profound effects on their development and ability to learn.”
  • by Anonymous Location: COS on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:54 AM
    So you are prepared to personally execute 1.6 Million homeless children with disabilities? If so - you should seek mental health treatment.
  • by Yvonne on Mar 6, 2012 at 06:24 AM
    Disgusted: Really! the tea party said that?? please include link and proof, of course you lie like a rug.
  • by spanky Location: cs on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:34 AM
    maybe instead of cameras all over da placee the $ could be used for some humanitarian purpose
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