More Homeless Students in the Panhandle

More Panhandle students are becoming homeless, and some say the economy is to blame.

Three percent of the students in the Amarillo Independent School District are homeless and District Social Worker Melissa Chapman expects that percentage to increase this year.

Today I spoke with one mom who has four children in AISD and she says it is hard being homeless, but extremely difficult when you have children.

Last year Julie Hamilton says she had a place for her children to come home to after school but the current high cost of living has made it impossible to pay the bills. "It's very frustrating to know that I have all these kids and I can't really support them the way they should be supported," says Hamilton, "Hopefully they finish school and go to college."

And being pregnant with her sixth child, Hamilton can not work but says she plans to work hard to get her family back on its feet when she is able. "When this babie is born, I'll probably work a job full time and work a part time job just so I can make ends meet," she says.

Melissa Chapman says homeless children are more likely to struggle in the classroom because of family stresses.

"They have a lot more on their mind when they are sitting in the classroom. They don't know where they are going to stay the night or get their next meal. Their parents are struggling and they see that and have a lot more on their plate than sitting there being attentive and learning."