Student Homelessness

Schoolhouse Washington

About one in every 25 students K-12 students in Washington state is homeless—and the prevalence of student homelessness is growing faster in Washington state than the national average.

The traumas associated with being homeless have detrimental effects on a student’s ability to succeed at school.

Schoolhouse Washington is a Building Changes project to improve housing stability and advance educational success for the more than 40,000 students in our state who experience homelessness. We communicate the urgency of student homelessness to practitioners, policymakers and the public, with a particular focus on school districts, community nonprofits and funders from across the entire state.

A Schoolhouse Washington data analysis of students experiencing homelessness and their academic progress found:

  • Students experiencing homelessness have academic outcomes well below those of students who are housed.
  • Six out of every 10 students experiencing homelessness are students of color.
  • Three of every four students experiencing homelessness are in doubled-up situations (staying with others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason).
  • Students experiencing homelessness living doubled-up have similarly poor academic outcomes as those living in hotels/motels, in shelters and unsheltered.
  • Students experiencing homelessness have substantially lower graduation rates than their housed peers.
  • Students experiencing homelessness have substantially lower school attendance rates than their housed peers.
  • Students experiencing homelessness are suspended from school at twice the rate of their housed peers.