Beyond The Bell: Number Of OKC Homeless Students Continues To Climb

Monday, January 28th 2013, 9:20 pm
By: News 9

It's a growing problem in Oklahoma City Public Schools as the number of homeless students steadily climbs from year to year.

Sixteen hundred students in Oklahoma City Public Schools walk the hallways and go to class just like their peers, but when the bell rings, these students can't go home because they don't have one.

Eugene Johnson is one of those kids.

"I think the worst part of my life would be my dad dropping my stuff off, saying he'd be back in a couple days and hadn't been back since," Johnson said.

The number of Oklahoma City homeless students steadily rose over the past three years. Rising from 1,300 to more than 2,100, these kids have to worry about basic necessities.

Johnson's grateful for all the help he gets from organizations like SKILS, which brings Christmas to homeless youth every year. It's a moment to stop worrying about graduation, college and making ends meet. He takes it all on with a trademark sense of humor.

And this 18-year-old high school senior has big dreams ahead.

"After graduation it's either straight to UCO or USAO, I mean I want to be a producer so, in music," Johnson said.

We're half-way through this year and Oklahoma City Public Schools District has more than 1,600 homeless students, possibly putting us on track to surpass the 2,100 students identified as homeless at the end of last year.