OC counted 700 homeless kids last year. Grand jury thinks it has 30,000

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The broader definition of “homelessness” used by schools includes students who lack a fixed residence, or are living under a roof with multiple other families. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

During last year’s official point-in-time count in OC, volunteers identified 722 unhoused children living on the streets and in shelters. But a recent report from the county’s grand jury paints a very different picture, estimating that the number of unhoused students in the county is closer to 30,000.

That discrepancy is due to the very different ways that schools and counties define homelessness, and it can have a real impact on how resources are distributed, in schools and beyond. 




Christian Bordal