Third of Schoolchildren Near Silicon Valley Are Homeless

Their families are being pushed out of their homes by the area's ballooning wealth
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2016 5:13 PM CST

(Newser) – The Guardian has revealed a shocking statistic about schoolchildren living near the extreme affluence of Silicon Valley: more than one-third of them are homeless. That's 1,147 kids in the Ravenswood City school district, which encompasses East Palo Alto. These children live in RVs, shelters, and other families' homes as their parents get squeezed out of traditionally minority neighborhoods by incoming tech employees and their growing wealth. "Now you have Caucasians moving back into the community, you have Facebookers and Googlers and Yahooers,” observes one local pastor, who says it's rare now to find a house under $750,000.

But forget buying a house. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in East Palo Alto is more than $2,200 a month. That's why you can find four families with children sharing a four-bedroom house, or a couple and their five children living together in a garage. The school district's superintendent wants wants to open a school parking lot to families living out of their cars and RVs, install washing machines in the schools, and build apartments for staff on district-owned land. Because it's not just children struggling. The 47-year-old principal of one East Palo Alto school shares a house with three other teachers, while others commute for hours. Read the full Guardian piece here. (Read more Silicon Valley stories.)

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