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Not Reaching the Door: Homeless Students Face Many Hurdles On Their Way To School

October 17, 2018

A new report from the city Independent Budget Office examines the barriers faced by homeless public school students on their way to school. Obstacles include the demographics of students living in temporary shelters, how housing and school placements can conflict, and how the homeless shelter system can hamper academic performance. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Families are often placed in homeless shelters far from their schools.
  • The realities of the shelter system require families to move multiple times, requiring new transportation arrangements or transfer to a new school.
  • Housing difficulties can affect children in secondary ways, like not having access to clean clothes because of a lack of laundry facilities.
  • Though more children are living in temporary shelters, the city Department of Education has not increased funding to match that growth.
  • The city’s education and homeless services departments have struggled to coordinate their services, resulting in redundancies and inefficiencies.

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