The Atlantic: Why Homeless Kids Can’t Get to School
“Roughly 73,523 homeless people—defined as those without a consistent place to sleep who might stay in shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens—live in New York City, a 38 percent increase from 2007, according to Shantae Goodloe, a spokesperson for the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development. Another recent report, by the New York City-based Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH), found that more than 127,000 New York City public-school students—or one in eight—have been homeless at some point in the last five school years, more than the total population of Boston and Seattle’s school systems combined. On the national level, homelessness remains a problem, although by some measures it’s on the decline. The national rate of homelessness in 2015 fell to 17.7 homeless people per 10,000 people from 18.3 in 2014. About 1.36 million students in the U.S. were homeless in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Education.”
In New York City, more and more children are facing the most extreme form of instability and poverty—homelessness. The new report provides a detailed picture of homelessness within the city's educational system: where homeless students go to school, what kinds of support they may need, what their academic outcomes look like, and what the lasting impacts of homelessness are educationally—even after a student's housing instability has ended.
This helpful resource examines family homelessness by New York City Community District, analyzing key elements such as shelter entry data and the extent of student homelessness. Each snapshot also details the stability indicators of each community, from the affordability of rental units to unemployment rates.
School absences are pervasive across New York City. Almost one in five New York City public school elementary students (19%) were chronically absent in SY 2013-14, missing 20 days or more of school. Worse, homeless elementary students were chronically absent at roughly twice the rate of elementary students overall. This report examines the disparities in absenteeism and its impact on educational achievement, comparing homeless students and their housed peers, regardless of family income level.