COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - The number of Maryland students who are homeless has more than doubled in the past five years, outpacing the increase in homeless children nationally.
According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the number of homeless students has grown from 6,721 to 14,117 in the last school year. The largest increases are occurring in suburban areas around cities. Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties all have seen larger increases than Baltimore City.
Nationally, the number of homeless children has risen 38 percent from 2007 to 2010.
In Howard County, 16-year-old Ryan Johnson tells The Baltimore Sun he often sleeps on a plastic mat next to strangers at a shelter but continues to attend school. He told the Sun that the experience has been "really hard," saying that he sees it as a detention he has to do every day, though he has done nothing wrong.