Giving Compass’ Take:
• The 74 reports on homelessness among students across the United States, and finds that recent natural disasters have contributed to the problem, with 20,000 students displaced by Hurricane Harvey alone in 2017.
• What can nonprofits do to support these kids? Those that are in the education sector should recognize that students without a stable home environment have many emotional and academic needs — and getting them resources is vital.
• To better understand the health and well-being of homeless high school students, click here.
The negative effects of homelessness for children linger far longer than the experience of not having a place to sleep, according to a new study by The Education Trust–New York.
In 2015–16, 1 in 10 students in grades 3 through 8 in New York state either experienced homelessness or had previously been homeless, and both groups were about half as likely to meet academic standards as peers who always had a home.
More recently, two reports found that New York City is failing to provide homeless children with the services they need, and that the number of homeless children in New York City is growing. Social workers are overwhelmed with cases, and often schools aren’t following up with parents when the students are absent from class, according to a New York Timesanalysis of the reports.
But experts say the problem is not limited to New York.
At least 40,000 children are homeless because of 2017 hurricanes, according to a conservative estimate by SchoolHouse Connection. And that doesn’t include those affected by wildfires in California, which also destroyed homes, Duffield said.
In the Houston area alone, an estimated 22,000 students were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, according to a report by local station KHOU from October. (Houston schools do not have an official estimate of the number of families experiencing homelessness because of Harvey, a spokesperson said in December.)
“The effects of Harvey are just humongous and catastrophic,” said Patrick Lopez, a coordinator at the Texas Homeless Education Office, a state agency that provides services and information regarding homelessness. Lopez described the Harvey aftermath as a “long-term, slowly unfolding problem” that will last for years.
Read the full article about how natural disasters have exacerbated the homelessness crisis by Laura Fay at The 74.
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