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Number of homeless students rising in Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- As Williston's population has grown, so has the number of homeless students in the western North Dakota oil patch hub.

Deb Roel is the homeless liaison and parenting director for the school district. She says 128 students are considered homeless, up more than one-third from just two years ago.

Williston's population has more than doubled since the 2010 Census, with estimates now reaching more than 30,000 people. That has led to a housing crunch, and more families living in ''transitional'' housing such as campers. Students who live in such housing are considered homeless under federal law.

Roel is awaiting state approval of $18,000 in grants to help connect homeless students with resources such as free lunches and school supplies.

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