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Six Democratic presidential contenders face off in Nevada; and ballot security issues in play.

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Tonight's the Las Vegas debate, ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses. Some candidates are trying to regain the spotlight and others are trying to keep momentum.

Going Home After School Not an Option for Thousands of Oregon Kids

September 14, 2007

Portland, OR – New U.S. Census Bureau figures show high housing and rental costs are locking a lot of people out. That is a growing concern in Oregon schools, where the number of homeless students has increased significantly for the third consecutive year.

The State Department of Education says more than 15,000 students were homeless for a period of time during the last year, a 37 percent increase since 2004. Michael Anderson, with The Housing Alliance, says they're calling on Oregon lawmakers to take up the issue in February's session.

"They need to give the funding needed to the state's affordable housing programs to give these homeless children an opportunity to have a place to live -- to succeed in school and life -- that comes when you have the stability of a place to call home."

Anderson says despite the increase in numbers of homeless families, federal funding that might be used to help them has decreased.

"The State of Oregon has a chance to do something to make sure Oregon kids are not left hanging out in the winds of the federal politics that are blowing against (affordable) housing."

Last session, lawmakers considered a bill that would have provided affordable housing help for working families, seniors, and Oregonians on fixed incomes. The most recent Census Bureau analysis shows more than half of Oregonians pay more than one-third of their incomes for housing costs, a percentage that experts consider unaffordable.

Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR