Idaho may not be the largest state in the union, but it’s one of the top states when it comes to growth in homeless students. Between the 2010–11 and 2011–12 school years Idaho saw a 27 percent increase in homeless students, a total of 6,076 kids.
The reasons for these numbers in Idaho are myriad. Parents often lose jobs, which are already scarce, through layoffs or illness. Eviction follows, and families find themselves homeless on the streets or living in shelters.
One local nonprofit, OATHS, was founded by high school student Ben Skinner to help homeless students “get what they need to enjoy, succeed, and stay in school.” The program provides school supplies, clothes, musical instruments, even caps and gowns. According to the OATHS website, the program has raised more than $65,000 and helped more than 700 homeless students since it was founded in 2009.
(Photo: ilbusca/Getty Images; design: Lauren Wade)