BOISE - The United Way of Treasure Valley says the number of homeless students is rising. An estimated 4,000 students - with 1,400 in Nampa alone.
"We have the highest homeless population here in the Treasure Valley," said Steffanie Leicht, who works directly with homeless students in the Nampa School District.
Leicht works under a federal grant called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. It's her job to provide students with what they need to be successful in the classroom.
"Access to resources, transportation, clothing, hygiene items," explained Leicht.
She is notified of those in need of help when they register for the school year when students check certain boxes about their living situation. A student is classified homeless if he or she does not have a permanent place to live.
Leicht says a lot of students she works with are living in campers without water or staying with another family because they can't afford a place of their own.
She's thankful so many partners are also helping.
"It hasn't impacted a single community in the Treasure Valley. It's impacted all the communities in the Treasure Valley," said Nora Carpenter, United Way of Treasure Valley CEO and president.
Carpenter says that's why it's so important we all rally around our homeless families.
United Way has a continuous drive for items of need. For more information and resources available click here.
The Nampa School District and United Way say the biggest reason students fall into the homeless category is because their family cannot afford a place to live.
Again, every school district has someone who specifically works with the homeless student population. If you are in need of assistance contact your district.
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