Homeless student population at an all-time high

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools Homeless Liaison Kay Daniel says this is the highest number of students in a homeless situation the district has ever seen.

"Never have we ever been at 3,800," said Daniel.

That number was significantly lower last year this time.

"On December the 5th of 2017 we were, we actually had 858 students identified as living in a homeless situation," said Daniel.

That means about 3,200 students are left without permanent roofs over their heads, because of the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael.

"A 3,000 student increase... I mean that's just dramatic," said Daniel.

But Kara Mulkusky with Bay District Schools says they're working to match the needs of impacted families.

"Were basically pairing our homeless students and families with any type of resources, getting them contact information to apply for housing, sending out money through our district communication with numbers," said Mulkusky.

Although the district can't directly work to place families in housing right now...

"Where we would normally work with a family for housing, trying to get housing, that was, you know we were replaced of course by FEMA and the Red Cross," said Daniel.

Mulkusky says there's one thing she's happy about coming out of this natural disaster.

"The greatest gift right now is that all of the families pretty much see the importance of having the kids enrolled and in the classrooms right now," said Mulkusky. "It's providing that routine, that normalcy for our students."

And they're not letting Michael change the level of education for students.

"We want them to be in school getting the authentic, engaging lessons that they got even before the storm," said Mulkusky.

Other local groups like Hearts with Hands will make sure that through the holiday season students classified as homeless get a Blessings in a Box Christmas package.