Asheville City Schools' headquarters.

ASHEVILLE – By the end of the school year, coordinators for Buncombe County and Asheville City schools anticipate around 850 students will have experienced homelessness. 

In a city where the homeless population is on the rise according to a recent Point in Time count, which is conducted according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness, area school systems have also seen an increase in numbers. 

According to Jessica Supik, the homeless and foster care liaison with Asheville City Schools, ACS has identified 216 homeless students during its 2021-22 school year, 30 of which are “unaccompanied homeless youth” — meaning those not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

Related: Decrease in shelter beds, increase in homelessness: Consultant named amid Asheville crisis

Buncombe County Schools identified 558 students, 110 of which are unaccompanied, said BCS spokesperson Stacia Harris.

These numbers were presented at the May 27 Homeless Initiative Advisory meeting. 

At its May 27 meeting, the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee hear an update on the McKinney-Vento program.

Chair Sara Coplai said she had not known this level of specifics on school data. 

“The unaccompanied homeless youth (numbers are) really frightening,” she said. “That is 215 children. I mean, these are children.”

There are a few days in the school year left to report, and both Supik and Shannon Boyd, the homeless and foster care liaison with Buncombe County Schools, said they anticipate those numbers to grow before the final count.