CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston County School District say the struggling economy has led to an increase in the number of homeless children throughout the past few years.
The school system considers children without a regular place to sleep at night to be homeless.
As it stands, 600 school children fall into this category within the Charleston County school district.
By the end of the year, school officials expect this number to increase.
"They're residing either in motels, hotels, with friends, couch surfing, (staying with) family members," said Sonya Jones with the Charleston County School District.
"It was hell not being able to maneuver. Four of us had to sleep in just a queen size bed having to buy food every night because there wasn't a stove where I could get food and cook," said a single mother of three children under 12 as she recalled the four months they lived in a hotel.
Her struggle started with the loss of a job in the fast food industry.
From there it was a downward spiral that eventually led to the family being evicted from their apartment and moving into a hotel.
Without reliable transportation at the hotel getting the children to and from school became a challenge.
The family moved into an apartment about a month ago but their financial situation remains fragile.
"I'm pretty much waiting to see how next month goes and pretty much living day by day trying to figure out how I'm going to get the rest of my bills paid," said the mother.
Spurred by the growing need, the Charleston County School District has established a Children in Crisis Fund for families on the brink of homelessness.
For more information on how to donate to this cause contact the board office at 937-6300.