Studying homeless students

The number of homeless students in Michigan has increased 66 percent in the past four years.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 6, 2013


The number of homeless students has also increased in Northwest Ottawa County, though not as dramatically, said Cindy Benson, information services specialist and homeless liaison for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

There were 103 students in the Grand Haven school district classified as "homeless" in the fall of 2010. That number has grown to 153 this past fall, Benson said.

Being classified as "homeless" doesn’t necessarily mean living on park benches. Families fall into that category if they lack a regular and adequate nightly residence; live in an emergency or transitional center, car, public space, motel, hotel or campground; or share a home because of economic hardship, Benson said.

Schools aren't the only ones seeing an increased need in services for homeless students. Todd Krygsheld, associate director of the Holland Rescue Mission, said more Ottawa County residents are using their emergency shelter services, along with the women and children's shelter.

"We've seen a little increase with the economy and loss of jobs," he said.

Although Benson said she thinks the homeless issue is driven by the economy, she believes shelters are helping more people because the community and schools are doing a better job of identifying people in need.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Just saw this! You deserve a toast! Clink!


"Why me, Lord?" Because you, esteemed Vlaad, are an answer to prayer. Since I've discovered my ancestral connections to the Constitution, the Mayflower, Miles Standish, and a Longfellow poem, your lesson is most appreciated.

1. I suppose what we really have is a federation, but why split hairs in an online forum?

2. If I'd known this back in 2008 and 2012, I'd have voted for McCain and Paul. Now you tell me. You sly dog! You knew I'd Google "czar" and find out that the czar concept started under FDR and reached it's heyday under - yes - George W. Bush. In fact, out of 32 of Beck's infamous inverted pyramid of czars, 8 are Obama appointments, and the rest were Bush's. And speaking of Bush and signing statements, not word one about his 1,200 provisions.

Now we're back into hissy fit territory. If you would prefer, I will in future refer to your constitutional leanings as Constitutional Interpretivism, if you promise to not put the words pimple and butt in the same sentence ever again.

I have taken to heart your dire predictions involving me and my liberal friends (what about my conservative friends?), and offer this quote from Tocqueville's DEMOCRACY in America...."The consequences of this state of affairs are dire and spell danger for the future".

Rule No. 102 - It's spelled Lani.


Quota Queen, racialist, anti democrat? And what we have is a Republic!


Lanni - Seneschalle of Democracy, mentalist.


?? Even Google didn't help me with that reference; is Red John involved?


Why me, Lord?

Senechal: A royal officer in charge of justice and administration of domestic arrangements. Senechalle - feminine hybrid of Senechal.


I got that, but why the change from Lani to Lanni coupled with Senechalle?


I'm sure there must be a logical explanation here somewhere...let's see, maybe in Samuel Morison's "The Oxford History of the American People",...ok, found it right here on page 919......


Can we play some Dodgeball first PLEEEASE


"You bet", said Coach Rice....


Game on, unless, unlike my student days in NY public schools, or my teaching days in D.C., girls can't play -


After the Notre Dame/UConn girls basketball game last night, it's hard to imagine those days. And I only play with people who play fair and by the rules, so I guess you're out.


Oh yes - and aren't sore losers.


This is a perfect example of changing criteria to manipulate statistics. My niece lives with me instead of her mother, so she meets the criteria of "homeless" (with her iPhone and wifi and all the toys one could want). change the criteria, exponentially inflate the numbers - and voila - more bureaucrats and more money involved.


You nailed it, Winggirl. It's all about the bureaucrats and money. I saw a report the other day about how food stamp use has doubled in the past four years, largely because bureaucrats are aggressively recruiting "poor" people into the program. I spent a career working with mostly "poor" families and individuals on every social program known to man. Most of them had bigger television sets than I do, video games galore, and no shortage of cigarettes, alcohol and pop. Most of them did not appear underfed, either. I am very suspicious of all these doom and gloom statistics trotted out by government and the non-profit industry. The abuse, waste and outright fraud in many of these programs is staggering. The steady march to more government dependence and wealth redistribution-led by the progressives-continues on.


Rainbowjoe: "The abuse, waste, and outright fraud in many of these programs is staggering". I am aware of this as well, and it goes against everything I was taught. In my personal world, you don't waste - every dollar is spent as productively and efficiently as possible. You plan, create, and manage an environment where this is attainable. But I know very well that, somewhere in the pipeline, some pennies of that dollar will be wasted, regardless if that dollar is in the form of taxes, charitable contributions, household/personal expenses. I expect government to act accordingly - this is the only scenario where I would equate government with a household. I expect government to plan, create, and manage an economic environment that eliminates as much abuse, waste, and outright fraud as humanly possible from all segments - defense, social programs, corporate subsidies, yet still is efficient and productive.

You lost me when you say bureaucrats are aggressively recruiting "poor" people into the program. Please provide links, if possible.

Wing: I know many people of all sorts of political persuasions who, in a variety of ways, actively help those less fortunate than themselves, including yours truly. I was brought up to acknowledge that the poor will always be among us, needing temporary or permanent assistance, and that one of life's purposes is to give compassionate service to them in whatever form is possible at any given point. If democratic government is truly by the people, for the people, than I expect these people to be included no matter whether government at any given moment happens to be Dem or Repub.

We can argue til blue in the face (oops - politically incorrect) as to who, how, or why there is a growing number of homeless children in West Michigan, and frankly, the exercise would be nothing but an exercise in futility. I know inevitably Vlad will always blame Obama, you will blame the libs, etc. But the problem transcends politics, and reflects the priorities of our nation. We are the richest country in the history of civilization. If we choose to turn the rise of our homeless children into a political football, punting it back and forth with increasing fervor, all the while ignoring or dismissing the problem, the resulting image is just too disturbing to contemplate.


Welcome to my side of the arguement! Politicians are dividing the country and destroying it for our votes.


Lanivan, I cannot post links to the info I wrote about because I am not at all tech savvy. It's real progress that I can even do this. I bet YOU can find it, though, because JP Morgan Bank is involved in the food stamp program and gets a cut from every Bridge Card transaction. In that report, also, was that there were even food stamp outreach offices in several foreign embassies in New York. That, combined with bureaucrats trolling for new customers, was the source of my "recruiting" comment. In this and other programs that I complain about "abuse, waste and outright fraud," here are some examples of why I am so frustrated. Two days ago I met a fellow outside a sporting goods store in Kalkaska. In the course of a short conversation, he told me he was on disability due to an oilfield work accident years ago but he certainly appeared quite mobile. He also revealed he bagged a 6x6 bull elk in Wyoming last fall on a do-it-yourself (no guide) hunt. That is a strenuous endeavor, but it's OK with the government that he can't work and should be paid tax dollars? Just recently while fishing the White River near Hesperia, I played hopscotch all day with another fisherman who was also chasing steelhead. At the end of the day, we shared a beer and conversation. I learned that he, too, was on disability because he fell out of a tree stand four years ago. He can wade a fast, rocky, and treacherous river in a steep-walled valley for hours on end, but the government agrees that he can't work and should be paid tax dollars? On the breakwall in Grand Haven I encountered a guy day after day who was likewise chasing fall whitefish, and I learned he was on disability because his back and shoulders hurt from a vehicle wreck years earlier. Each day he could hike out on the breakwall with his rods and two 5-gallon buckets of gear, but the government agrees he can't work and should be paid tax dollars? I can give you a lifetime of such stories involving several programs, but you get the idea. I have no faith in government to efficiently and effectively manage any program in which it's involved. Its track record is not good. As I've said before, there's not an American anywhere (even conservatives!) who won't help out someone genuinely in need, but we have to root out the fraud and waste first.


I like this guy, just taking a lifetime of experience and common sense and using it as his truth detector.


yes, it i wonderful to be judge, jury , and executioner.

Disability is not welfare, it is Social Security taxes you have paid all your working life into. And to say someone who is disabled 'looks OK' is simply asinine, are you their freaking doctor? Kick someone when they are down, because they look ok to you!!! Life experience? More like life, jaded.
That sucking sound, right, Right?
But the Right's defense here of corporate welfare and corporate tax evasion is OK? We truly see where the morals and lack of morals are here.


If they haven't worked most of their life, its not their money in the system. Your once again looking past the problems to spout Lib points. No one wants to deny someone assistance when they truly need it. We get pissed at all the fraud going on and then when we point it out we get attack for being mean, arrogant, uncaring.

Don't you just love how the left only needs feelings to justify their position. Carry on BD.


Regardless of the system people will always find a way to mooch.
The system is screwed. My father developed a rare form of cancer due to exposure while a Marine. The system denied him benefits until it almost killed him.

This man served his country for 8 years. He worked for local government as a crew leader for over 20 years. Helped countless people during multiple storms and hurricanes (we lived in Florida). I can recall one occasion where he slept in his truck for 12 days so that he could stay on the front lines of disaster areas to aid search/rescue and utility workers.

He's done more than most will ever do in his lifetime, and yet he almost died because the system did not deem him a viable candidate for assistance.

I'm sorta on a tangent here, getting a little emotional. The point being the system is flawed. Our social services are bruised and battered. I believe we have turned into a nation of dependents with a bloated sense of entitlement.

I don't blame any one political party for this. I think everyone had a hand in mucking it up. I do believe we should absolutely care for those who are in need. It is our duty as Americans to ensure our citizens have the best care in the world. But just like our tax code (which helps those with the means to game the system) our social systems are easily manipulated by those without scruples.

It's going to take another massive calamity to occur within the system before our leaders will take the failings of our social systems seriously. I just hope it get's addressed before I find myself or those I care about in need of assistance.


sorry about your dad, he deserved better. I agree, it doesn't always work the way it was intended. Some people abuse every system, no matter what.
You would really be surprised at the fraud perpetuated by the outdated food that stores 'donate' to the gleaners and they get to write that off on their taxes. Food not fit for human consumption any more, really.

And we all have been guilty of watching someone park in the handicap spot and walk into the store wondering...but it doesn't give anyone a right to judge a disabled persons abilities.

Should a disabled person sit at home all day doing nothing, or go about life as well as possible. Should he fish for his food, or beg for it? I just find it so absurd to read such a comment here by RBJ. Although typical...


Many on the system can find a way to contribute. Be a big brother, take a kid fishing. In the one example, that is what the guy was doing anyway. The system, and the ease to which it can be manipulated, is creating a culture that works at not working. That's what is being talked about. Giving people money for nothing takes their pride and self reliance away. I know a very special lady that has been disabled most of her adult life. She is confined to a wheel chair. She is writing children books. All she has is her voice and spirit and she is giving back. Bet RBJ dad has that same spirit. You bet he deserves better. We have a moral right to take care of our neighbors and no one is complaining about taking care of those in need

The system has to do a better job helping people live and finding something they can do to contribute. I find it absurd that so many people are on the system that could be doing more, or shouldn't be on it at all. I would be happy if the money they received (capable ones fishing on the White river) also had some community service attached if they are of working age and could do so without further aggravating their disability. Ah, there it is, some lawyer is sitting in the willy weeds waiting to pounce on state, fed governments for causing duress to said recipient.

It just takes too much imagination and courage for a government run program to be fixed. Here's one for you, lets privatize it! Now I'll back away from the key pad and let the attacks begin.


Sorry whatareyoutalking..., wrong dad mistakingly used in the example above. Should insert "WYT" there. Hope your dad is doing well by the way.


Many Thanks!

The VA finally stepped in and sorted it out. Even that was delayed.
He's still got cancer, and will keep it till it kills him.

Having said that, he's semi retired and goes fishing 3-4 times a week.
So he's living it up, with no thanks to the social safety net we supposedly have to prevent this type of thing.

Having said that, and given the issues it in turn will bring, I'm looking forward to some of the benefits we will gain when Obama care is in place. It's a flawed system, but my hope is it will bring some other major flaws in our system to light which I hope will cause enough people to say "enough is enough" prompting for real reform.


Good to hear it sorted out. Good to hear he is well enough to enjoy the finer things in life as he battles this demon.

I still feel we do not overhaul the entire system to fix what is broke. We do not replace the engine of a vehicle when the tires are bad. To further complicate it, when the government "fixes" things it more often then not, creates another problem. Much like putting the wrong tires on the vehicle, it causes the vehicle to act strangely and possibly cause and accident with further injury to its occupants!


Your father's experience is so unfortunate. May I ask: was your family ever informed of why he was denied benefits for so long? What was the rationale? What are your thoughts on why he had such a hard time getting deserved benefits, but yet you believe our social systems are easily manipulated by those without scruples?

I'm not challenging you in any way, being sympathetic about your father's difficulty, but just trying to get a better picture.

My concern about our social net programs are two-fold - the potential for abuse of the system, and the current push to dismantle, rather than improve, said systems, using the abuse as the rationale for dismantling. This is another manipulation that could have as tragic of consequences as those your family experienced.

Wingmaster mean like we did to the health care system?


Nuance much? You might want to do some research on the unprecedented rise in health care costs in the past 20 years. Health care costs in the Federal budget for 2013 exceed all other costs, including Defense, and are about twice as high as welfare costs.

Currently, the poorest, least educated, most polluted, least healthiest, most gun-loving red states are blocking the implementation of the ACA - which is essentially a rehash of an 1989 conservative Heritage Foundation proposal. Talk about ironic!

Take a minute and check this out....



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