PORTLAND - New numbers show that more than 20,000 Oregon students are counted as homeless.

When you think about homelessness, it's often associated with people living on the streets.

But the definition is a lot more broad. It includes families living in motels, transitional housing, tents or shelters. More homeless students are also doubling up with families.

Darryl and Leandra Foster are living at a warming shelter. Their seventh grader goes to a transitional school in Portland.

At the transitional school, all the students that go there are pretty much in the same situation, Darryl Foster said.

The situation of homelessness hits across the region. In the Beaverton School District, 4.6 percent of students are homeless. In Portland it's just over 3 percent. In the Reynolds School District it's nearly 9 percent.

It s shocking, but from what I see, it s honestly not that surprising. More people are needing help these days, said Alexandra Loeber, a counselor at Merlo Station High School.

At Merlo Station High School - an alternative school in Beaverton - 30 percent of the students are homeless.

Loeber says Beaverton tops the list in student homelessness because they have good resources to identify who needs help. Her school is the only one in the district that gives out three meals a day to their students.

Sometimes, this is the three meals they re going to get for the whole day. Not as many students bring their lunch here as I was used to at my former high school, Loeber said.

As for the Fosters, they hope to bounce back when the economy picks up.

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