Having a safe, stable home is a basic need for all children. Homelessness, unstable housing and the lack of affordable housing have dire consequences for children’s health, education and future earning potential. We must increase the availability of affordable housing, expand access to living wage jobs and provide support for families who have experienced homelessness to help them meet their children’s needs going forward.
Almost 1.5 million children enrolled in public schools experienced homelessness during the 2019-2020 school year, excluding younger children and youth not enrolled in school.
- Eighty percent of homeless students during the 2018-2019 school year were living doubled-up with family or friends; 14 percent were in shelters or transitional housing and nearly seven percent were in hotels or motels. Nearly four percent were unsheltered, often living in abandoned buildings or cars.
- Homeless children’s access to school is complicated by high mobility as well as the lack of school supplies, clothes, food, funds for transportation and necessary records to enroll in a new school. The trauma, poor physical and mental health, hunger and fatigue many experience continue to challenge them when they get to school.
According to a report by NYU, 4.2 million teens and young adults experienced homelessness over the course of a year. Black and Hispanic youth; poor youth and young adults; youth with less than a high school diploma or GED; unmarried young parents and LGBTQ youth were all at especially high risk of homelessness.