Amount of Homeless Students on the Rise


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- It’s been two weeks since the evictions at the Budgetel Inn in East Ridge.But even before that event, homelessness among students in Hamilton County was on the rise.

According to Duoloyi Ministries, it is believed that up to 1,400 students in the Hamilton County school system are in a homeless condition, and that number was taken before the Budgetel evictions.

Don Hopkins with Duoloyi Ministries describes their situations by stating, “Some of them were in motels. Some of them were in hotels. Some of them lived with relatives, bouncing around from place to place. Some of them lived in the woods.”

Hopkins went on further to describe the issues that it’s causing for these students by saying, “The trauma, just think about when you were a teenager. If you have friends and you live on the street, who’s going to be your friend in school? Who’s going to be your friend in school, your high school buddies? How are you going to go out for a ball team? How are you do any extra credit work? How are you even going to study without lights? The challenges go on and on and on for these students.”

Many organizations are continuing to deal with the influx of homelessness not just from events such as the Budgetel evictions, but a lack of affordable housing in Chattanooga.

Kimberly George-Race, President of George Communications, said that, “Chattanooga is in desperate need of permanent housing. More affordable permanent housing. We just don’t have enough to support those who are seeking assistance. If you are a landlord or if you have a place you can rent at a low income or a discount, it is so needed.”

 In the midst of the crisis, small victories can be found. Hopkins says that Duoloyi Ministries, “Were walking alongside one family of six and get them permanent housing, there’s four children in that family that now can say they have a permanent place to live in a home. “

To help out Duoloyi Ministries, visit

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