By Devin Sanchez
The Permian Basin is more often recognized for it's booming economy and rising population, but another number is on the rise; homeless students.
"I think it's the lack of affordable housing," Caroline McLelland, Social Worker for Ector County ISD, said.
Dolores Cano, with Midland ISD, shared McLelland's sentiment.
"If the oil boom continues, we'll have even more," she said.
Just take a walk down any school in both Midland Independent and Ector County Independent school districts and you are bound to pass by at least one homeless student.
"Every week, in fact, I just got off the phone with a family that just moved here from out of town. Now they're staying at a motel because they could find a job, but not any stable housing," McLelland said.
At the beginning of February, MISD identified 465 students as homeless, and the majority of those aren't secondary students.
"We do have a larger number of elementary kiddos," Cano explained.
In general, Midland's number of homeless children increased 31% since 2012, according to the homeless coalition.
But MISD's number isn't as shocking as ECISD's. As of February 21, 2013, the district identified 865 students as homeless, with the largest percent of those students in either kindergarten and first grade. The largest majority of homeless, 81%, were actually doubled up or living in someone else's house.
More than 90% of students who are homeless move around at least three times in the school year and a big chunk of them are living in hotels and motels in Midland and Odessa.
"Lots of people are identified as homeless because they're living in a hotel," Cano said.