Student homelessness threatens more than 1 million young peopleStaff writer ▼ | June 14, 2016
More than 1.3 million public school students were identified as homeless in 2013-2014, a number that has been rising since 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Hidden in Plain Sight Homeless students in public schools
"Homelessness is a threat to everything students might want to achieve in their lives, but it doesn't have to be a barrier to success for millions of students," said John M. Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises and a co-author of the report.
"Schools, community organizations and caring adults can create a web of support and lifelines to action that will help students experiencing homelessness cope and thrive.
Key survey findings provide a glimpse into the challenges homeless students face.
- 78% of young people surveyed say homelessness was something they experienced more than once. 61% say they were never connected with any outside organization for support while homeless; 87% of those who were connected found the help valuable.
- 67% (approx. two-thirds) say they were uncomfortable talking with people at their school about their housing situation and related challenges.
- 62% say proof of residency requirements and 56% say lack of cooperation between their new and old schools posed a major challenge for them while changing schools.
- 54% say concrete supports (housing, food, transportation) and emotional supports are equally important.
- 50% say they slept in a car, park, abandoned building, bus station or other public place.
As a subgroup, homeless students are one of the lowest graduating student populations in the nation - 42% say they dropped out of school at least once. ■