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Even In Prosperous Collin County, There Are Homeless Students

Lara Solt
KERA News Special Contributor
Student Sylvia Torres eats with friends in the cafeteria at McKinney North High School. Sylvia lives at The Samaritan Inn, a homeless shelter in McKinney.

About 110,000 kids in Texas public schools are considered homeless. Many stay with relatives or friends. Others live in shelters or motels. Some even live on the street.

On Tuesday, KERA News launches a new series called Homeless In High School. Follow some of these students in North Texas -- and the educators and others helping them out.

The first story explains what student homelessness means – and how even in prosperous Collin County, kids need help. Some of them, like Sylvia Torres, live at The Samaritan Inn, a homeless shelter in McKinney.

Sylvia, 16, is a junior at McKinney North High School. It’s her fourth high school in three years.

The moment she walked into class, she was behind.

“When I came here from South Dakota, they were ahead of us and I haven’t learned it,” she said. “I started failing. It started frustrating me. And it got to the point where I couldn’t eat no more. I couldn’t sleep.

“I was struggling.”

Learn more about Sylvia in the first chapter of the series. An interactive map shows the homeless student population in school districts across North Texas. And learn how school districts define students who are without a place to live. 

Explore the series here.