Giving Compass’ Take:
• Data from the National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE indicates that there are high rates of childhood homelessness, and further reveals the challenges for homeless school liaisons. The author notes that affordable housing solutions need to be part of the plan to address these issues.
• How can donors get involved in creating access to affordable housing for homeless families? What are the hurdles in the way of making this happen?
• Read about how the “housing first” model can help end homelessness.
New data from the National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE indicates that 1.355 million children experienced homelessness over the 2016-2017 school year. The data highlights the challenge facing homeless school liaisons who are charged with ensuring each of these children – regardless of the disruption caused by homelessness — are connected to school and have access to critical academic supports.
The data also highlights the need for a much greater national investment in affordable housing. Of children identified over the school year:
- 1.025 million resided in a doubled-up situation due to economic necessity;
- 187,605 resided in emergency shelter, transitional housing, or were awaiting a foster care placement;
- 90,013 children lived in motels or hotels; and
- 50,145 were unsheltered (living in place not intended for human habitation)
All of these children need safe and affordable permanent housing. Affordable housing is associated with a myriad of positive outcomes that promote academic success, including reduced school mobility, reduced overcrowding, and increased food security. Its absence can hinder school participation and performance.
The data the school and city relied on was not wrong: the families they identified are in very tenuous housing situations. But they clearly didn’t want shelter, or some other temporary place to go. They want permanent housing they can afford.
And so our task is clear: we must do the hard work of advocating for housing solutions for low-income families.
The affordable housing crisis has a direct impact on our efforts to end homelessness. That’s why the Alliance has spent years advocating for the resources to address it: by supporting public-private partnerships to enhance housing opportunities, by advocating for increased investments in mainstream assistance programs, and by involving other risk systems to identify needs before people ever reach the homelessness system.
Read the full article about data shows that homeless population needs affordable housing by Sharon McDonald at National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Homelessness and Housing is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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If you are interested in Homelessness and Housing, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.