Advocates for Children: Over 100K NYC students were homeless last school year
A nonprofit organization is pushing for the city to do more to help homeless children.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Advocates for Children of New York say over 100,000 students in New York City public and charter schools identified as homeless during the 2020-21 school year.
The organization also says around 65,000 students stay with friends or family in overcrowded housing while another 28,000 live in shelters.
“Youths who don't get their high school diplomas are four-and-a-half times more likely to experience homelessness, so if we really want to break the cycle of homelessness, education absolutely needs to be a part of that conversation,” says Jennifer Pringle, the project director of Advocates for Children.
The Bronx’s District 9 has some of the highest numbers in the city, with one in every five students having experienced homelessness in the past year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city does look to help students in shelters.
“We send in tutors, we send in specialized workers, social workers to the shelters – we got to go the extra mile to get those kids the education they deserve,” he says.
However, Pringle says the next administration needs to do more.
“Ensure that all shelters in this city have enough staff who are well-equipped to address educational needs of students experiencing homelessness, and we think a good starting point is by hiring 150 Department of Education community coordinators to work in shelters,” she says
Pringle also says that the state eviction moratorium is scheduled to end in Jan. 2022, which may cause the homeless population to grow.