Pages tagged "Housing & Homelessness"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new analysis released today uncovered startling facts about the number of homeless students in our nation’s schools. According to the brief, American schools have experienced drastic increases in the number of homeless students entering their classrooms since the beginning of the recession. The brief finds that 26 states collectively report a 50 percent increase in the number of homeless children attending school since the 2006-07 school year.
In addition, the report finds that, during the 2007-2008 school year, school districts reported a 17 percent increase over the prior year in homeless students (679,724 homeless students enrolled during 2006-2007; 794,617 homeless students enrolled during 2007-2008, an increase of 114,893 students, or 17 percent). When students become homeless they not only suffer academically, but their mental and physical health are put at risk as well.
The brief entitled, Creating Jobs and Supporting Homeless Students, urges our nation’s leaders to take swift action by assisting school districts in helping students stay in school, even though they have lost their homes. It was written by First Focus, a children’s advocacy organization, and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, a membership organization of educators and others serving homeless children and youth.
“Our findings confirm what we already know about the number of homeless students – it has grown exponentially. When families lose their homes, children often lose their schools and access to services. Such changes not only impact their education but their physical and mental health as well.” said Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children. “When we help children grow and succeed, we are paving the way for our country’s next generation of workers and leaders. As Congress considers the Jobs Bill, we urge investments in jobs that support and assist the most innocent victims of the economic downturn – our nation’s children. By saving and creating jobs like homeless support staff, school social workers, psychologists, and community outreach staff, we will strengthen the economy while helping thousands of children continue their education and realize the American Dream.”
Although data on homeless students is not yet available for every state, other research has confirmed the recession has taken its toll on children. A recent report released by First Focus and the Brookings Institution found that the number of children across the nation receiving food stamps increased by 3.4 million in just one year. Further, new research has shown that 10.5 million children have an unemployed parent.
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The First Focus Campaign for Children collaborated with messaging expert Dr. Drew Westen, to identify messages that effectively communicate the needs of America’s children in a way that will resonate with policymakers, media, and the public. This PowerPoint presentation outlines the results from our research and provides examples of effective messages.
Public schools kept nearly 800,000 homeless students in school during the 2007-08 school year with the support of the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program. The number of homeless students entering our classrooms continues to grow, and school districts need additional support to help these children and youth stay in school even though they have
lost their homes.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, 26 states collectively report an increase of over 221,000 homeless students, or 50 percent. Although these children are at risk of health/mental health problems and are less likely to succeed in school, we know how to help them succeed.
As Congress considers a Jobs Bill, at least $100 million should be included to save/create nearly 3,300 jobs to address the continued increase in homeless children and youth – many of whom became homeless due to their parents’ job loss. With additional federal support, we can help thousands of homeless children continue in their education and achieve the American dream.
One in seven American children has an unemployed parent as a result of the current recession, known by many as the "Great Recession." These 10.5 million children are more likely to experience homelessness, suffer from child abuse, fail to complete high school or college, and live in poverty as adults than other children.
The economy is technically emerging from the recession and is likely to recover in the coming years. However, the same may not be the case for our children without a concerted effort to address their needs and provide them with every opportunity to work hard and attain the American Dream. This brief analyzes the number of children and youth who are impacted by the recession, examines the consequences, and recommends policy solutions.