NYC has one of the highest populations of homeless students in America. Having sharply increased in the past 10 years, the number of students in temporary housing has ballooned to over 114,000, a huge jump from 69,244 children in 2010.
That means that 1 out over 10 children in NYC are homeless.
Over 34,000 students will sleep in a homeless shelter tonight. (Enough to fill small city).
In 144 public schools, a third of the children are homeless.
And for every 1,660 homeless students, there’s roughly only 1 social worker.
The reality is 43% of NYC lives at or below the poverty line. The rising rent makes housing unaffordable for them and many middle-income families.
Families with children like Darnell, 8, who lives in a homeless shelter and has to commute 15 miles just to get to school. Despite his hour and a half commute one way, Darnell is doing his best to be his best.
He lights up when doing math in the computer room and is on his school’s football team.
Darnell’s mother Sherine is a health aide and is desperately trying to find affordable living for her and her three youngest children.
But Darnell is not alone, with 30% of his classmates also homeless, there’s countless kids on the train, in the bodega, riding the bus, who need a fighting chance to be their highest selves.
We can help them be their best by putting more money and attention in the city budget toward supporting homeless youth.
The Education Department’s yearly budget is a staggering $24 Billion, yet only $14 million has been used to hire 100 social workers in city schools and provide support-services for homeless kids.
We need to continually apply pressure to the de Blasio administration to prioritize homeless youth and more affordable housing options.
Also support community-based organizations like The Jericho Project and Advocates For Children. Both are non-profits doing the work of providing housing, legal representation, finances and educational assistance to homeless families and youth. Click both links to learn more about them and how to get involved/support/donate.