Lost in the Masked Shuffle and Virtual Void: Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Amidst the Pandemic.
SchoolHouse Connection. University of Michigan. Poverty Solutions.
Published: November 19, 2020
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This report presents the findings of a survey of 1,444 local educational agency homeless liaisons conducted in September and October of 2020 that examined whether their numbers of identified homeless students were higher or lower than at the same time in the previous school years and their perception of the reasons for these trends. The liaisons from 49 States were also asked to describe the greatest unmet needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness in their communities, whether their school districts were directing federal CARES Act education dollars to homeless students, and how those funds were being used. Findings indicate: an estimated 420,000 fewer children and youth experiencing homelessness have been identified and enrolled by schools so far this school year; the primary reasons cited for lower homeless student numbers at the start of the 2020-21 school year was the inability to identify families/youth due to distance learning/school building closure; while overall homeless student identification and enrollment is down, the number of children and youth experiencing homelessness has likely increased due to the economic crisis; children and youth experiencing homelessness face significant unmet needs described by school districts; and only 18% of respondents indicated that federal coronavirus relief education funding provided by the CARES Act is being used to meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness. Recommendations are made for the U.S. Congress, State and local education agencies, homeless, housing, food, and other relief agencies, and philanthropy. 3 references.
COVID-19; homelessness; data analysis; HOMELESS ADOLESCENTS; HOMELESS CHILDREN; SCHOOL LINKED SERVICES; FEDERAL DISASTER RESPONSE