Homeless Students Living in the Shadows

Communities in Struggling to
Reach Homeless Students

Homeless Students Living in the Shadows“When we get ready for school or just getting dressed, we would just go to, like, a public bathroom or like a park bathroom [or] McDonald’s.”

Said Joseph, 15, who once lived in a car with his family in Los Angeles. Today, Joseph and his family, victims of domestic violence, have their own apartment when they can work with a tutor at a kitchen table.

National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Gloria Hillard profiled the family as part of a November 11, 2014 story.

The U.S. Dept. of Education estimates that there are over 1.1 million students across the country who are experiencing homelessness. And California is the state with the highest homeless student rate.

“Ironically, they are the only homeless service providers in most communities in the state. Yet schools absolutely are under resourced to meet this problem.”

Patricia Julianelle of the National Association of the Education of Homeless and Children said.

On Skid Row in Los Angeles, a place where it is hard to imagine children living, the average age of a homeless child is 8. Says Catherine Meek, Executive Director of Schools on Wheels organization, which offers these very at risk children some stability.

“Experts ‘estimate that they are nine times more likely to repeat a grade, four times more likely to drop out of school entirely, They are at risk for physical abuse, sexual abuse, health, medical issues [are] a huge problem.’”

Said Ms. Meek.

“The same situations occur in communities across NJ. This news story supports the push for Congress to increase funding for vouchers. With more vouchers available in more communities, families experiencing homelessness like Joseph’s would be able to live in the own apartments rather than cars or on Skid Row. Every child deserves a kitchen table where he or she can do homework at night.”

Said Richard W. Brown, CEO of Monarch Housing.

Click here to read and/or listen to the full story.