Last week, while exhausted volunteers were scouring trenches and abandoned buildings for homeless people to survey with the Vulnerability Index, Santa Maria City Councilmember Mike Cordero received a disturbing bit of information. Speaking with Mark Mueller of the Santa Maria Bonita School District, he learned that roughly 3,000 homeless kids were enrolled in that district’s schools. Mueller, director of Pupil Services there, told Cordero most of these students were living “doubled-up.”

Though it sounds like a stiff cocktail recipe, the term is actually slang for one or more families living together in a single dwelling. The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) doesn’t consider doubled-up families technically homeless, but school districts definitely do, said Mueller. To read more, see


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