Victoria I.S.D. homeless students still hurting from Hurricane Harvey

The majority of students that are identified as homeless in the Victoria I.S.D. are usually temporarily sleeping on a friend or family member's couch.

VICTORIA, Texas – The number of students identified as homeless by the Victoria I.S.D. reached 1,957 during the 2017-2018 school year.

Yvonne Rossman-Ramos, the district’s homeless and foster care liaison, says this spike was caused by the damage dealt by Hurricane Harvey.

“And our community is still not recovered from that Hurricane three years ago, so we still have students and families living in substandard housing because of Hurricane Harvey.” Rossman-Ramos said.

On a federal level, Rossman-Ramos says it would help if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had the same definition of homelessness that the U.S. Department of Education uses.

“HUD says you’re only homeless if you’re on the streets or in a shelter and so there’s a big pot of money for those populations but that is excluding what we’re seeing in our community,” Rossman-Ramos said.

The majority of students that are identified as homeless in the Victoria I.S.D. are usually temporarily sleeping on a friend or family member’s couch.

“Maybe their funding has run out and then they sleep in their car for a few days until another family member is willing to take them in and it’s just this continual cycle of bouncing around for many, many of our students and families, that’s what it looks like in Victoria, Texas,” Rossman-Ramos said.

In the Victoria I.S.D. so far 272 students have been identified as homeless during the 2020-2021 school year. To learn how you can make a difference, go here.