Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two new reports on homeless children and families

In our last post, Are there more homeless students in our schools?, we talked about homeless families being invisible to the rest of the population because they stay for long periods of time in non-traditional housing, or they share housing with another family.

Yesterday another article was featured in the NY Times, giving a closer look at how families with children are coping with unstable homes and living in motels month to month. Read that article here: As Jobs Vanish, Motel Rooms Become Home.
"Motels are a part of the transition process for over 15% of First Place families, some of which live there for a majority of a school-year. In that kind of environment most of these families become exposed to street violence, drug use and other ills that develop the social and emotional traumas that prevents academic excellence or family stability," said Gene Harris, Director of Family Support Services at First Place.

Yesterday we also learned that nationally 1 in 50 children experience homelessness in America each year. The report by the National Center on Family Homelessness also ranks all 50 states. And where did Washington fall? At number 25 - right in the middle. Here is an overview on the Washington State report card:
  • 9,575 children in grades Kindergarten through 8 are homeless.
  • 1 in 26 children do not know where they will get their next meal.
  • Less than 25% of homeless children will graduate from High School.
  • 56.5% of homeless families with children struggle with transportation to and from school.
The report also says there is no dedicated state funding (in Washington) for homeless education.

Download full report here:

Check out just Washington State here:

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