Number of Homeless Students in NYC Increases
The number of homeless students in the New York City public school system has increased according to statistics released by Advocates for Children on Wednesday, October 26. The 2021-2022 academic year saw an increase of 3.3% in students that do not have stable housing.
This amounts to 104,000 children in school. The report shows that in the last academic year, more than 29,000 students lived in shelters while about 5,500 were unsheltered, meaning they had no place to call home and were forced to stay in unlivable places such as cars, parks, and abandoned buildings.
Some students had to stay with extended family and friends. This is a concerning statistic because while the enrollment rate in public schools decreases, the number of students without stable housing increases.
The situation is likely to become worse with thousands of asylum seekers with children arriving in the city. According to the NY Post, more than 6,100 children in temporary housing, many of them asylum seekers, registered at a public school at the start of the new academic year.
The area with the highest rate of student homelessness is the southwest Bronx. Upper Manhattan, the Bushwick and Brownsville areas of Brooklyn, and certain areas of Queens also have a significant number of homeless students.
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“Just a single student in temporary housing is one too many,” said City Councilmember Rita Joseph, chair of the education committee. “The increase of the student population in temporary housing is extremely concerning — it speaks to the magnitude of the dual housing and migrant crisis our city is experiencing.”
Joseph called on the Department of Education to do more to assist homeless students.
Homeless students have previously been shown to miss school days, with some missing a day of learning every 10 days. This has a negative effect on the affected students’ academic performance. It is reported that homeless students go on to drop out of high school.
The DOE’s department responsible for assisting students in temporary housing has been experiencing a challenge regarding vacancies. The NY Post reports that the department is yet to fill 100 shelter-based positions. The DOE, however, promised to continue providing assistance to those students who need it.
“It is our ongoing priority to provide our students, including students living in Foster Care, Temporary Housing, and Asylum Seekers living in shelters, with the support and resources they need, when they need them,” said Suzan Sumer, a DOE spokesperson.