Homeless student count on the rise in Guilford County

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HIGH POINT, NC -- The number of homeless students in Guilford County Schools is steadily rising, and now 2,634 students are considered homeless.

That number is up from 2,010 homeless students two years ago and 1,717 homeless students three years ago, according to Guilford County's supervisor of Homeless and Transitional Services' Susan Eubanks.

Guilford County did not have a full-time homeless student liaison four years ago, but the rising numbers forced Eubanks to take on the effort.

"They go to school, which is sometimes the only stable part of their life, and they don't even know where they're going to go home in the afternoon," said Eubanks.

As a liaison for the homeless, Eubanks organizes trips to and from school for students and makes sure they're fed, clothed, and clean so that they can focus on succeeding in the classroom.

Eubanks believes the rise in homeless numbers in Guilford County Schools is due to current economic troubles and because the school district has gotten better at spotting and helping homeless students.

With 2,634 homeless students for the 2011-2012 school year, Guilford County has more than triple the number of homeless students as Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools, which reported 749 homeless students for the same school year.

Guilford County Schools has about 72,000 students. The number of homeless students makes up about 3.5% of that population.