How is Homeless Defined?
According to the NAEHCY (National Association For The Education Of Homeless Children and Youth), “the federal definition of homelessness used by all public schools in the United States includes children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence”.
Includes children and youth living in:
· Transitional housing
· Sharing the housing of others temporarily due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons
The reality of family and youth homelessness:
· Emergency shelters in urban and suburban areas cannot meet demand, turning away request for shelter
· Many shelters place eligibility restrictions on families and youth
- Do not allow families with adolescent boys
- Do not allow unaccompanied minors
· Rural and suburban areas may not have shelters at all
Lack of Shelters:
· Most students in homeless situations share the housing of others temporarily or stay in motel/other short-term facilities due to the lack of shelters.
For more information on how homelessness is defined go to….
How Many Children and Youth Experience Homelessness?
· 1,166,339 homeless children and youth were enrolled in public schools in the 2011-2012 school year.
· 71 percent increase since the 2006-2007 school year.
· Not all school districts report data to the U.S. Department of Education of child and youth homelessness.
· Data collected only represents those children identified and enrolled in school.
· Date does not include all preschool-age children or any infants and toddlers.
· A typical sheltered homeless family includes a mother in her late twenties and two children.
· 42% of children in homeless families are under the age of six.
For more information on how many children and youth experience homelessness go to…
Why Are Children and Youth Homeless?
Homelessness is caused by:
· A lack of affordable housing
· Extreme poverty
· Decreasing government support
· The challenge of raising children alone
· The changing demographics of the family
· Domestic violence
· Fractured social supports
For more information on why families are homeless go to….
This pdf outlines the three major contributing factors on why families are homeless: Lack of Affordable Housing, Poverty, and Domestic Violence.
How Does Homelessness Affect Children and Youth’s Education?
Homeless children and youth face unique barriers to education:
· Being unable to meet enrollment requirements (including requirements to provide proof of residency and legal guardianship, and school and health records)
· High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and educational continuity
· Lack of transportation
· Lack of school supplies and clothing
· Poor health, fatigue, and hunger
· Emotional crisis/mental health issues
· For unaccompanied homeless youth, lack of a parent or guardian
For more information go to…
Developmental Milestones and Academic Performance:
· Children who are homeless are four times more likely to show delayed development.
· Children who are homeless have twice the rate of learning disabilities as children who are not homeless.
· Students who are poor are twice as likely as non-poor students to repeat a grade, be expelled, get suspended from school, or drop out of high school.
For more information on developmental milestones and academic performance go to...
What Educational Rights do Homeless Children and Youth Have?
McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act:
· A federal law designed to remove barriers to education due to homelessness.
· Increases the enrollment, attendance, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
· McKinney-Vento Act was passed in 1987 and most recently amended in 2001.
· State and local educational agencies are required to provide students experiencing homelessness with
access to school and support for student's attendance and success.
For more information go to…
What Can Educators Do?
The most frequently reported educational needs of homeless children according to state education agencies are:
· School materials and clothes
· Support services such as counselors
· After-school/extended day/summer programs to provide basic need for food and shelter and recreation
· Educational program continuity and stability
· Sensitivity and awareness training for school personnel and students
This website provides steps for principals and teachers to take to meet the needs above.
What Teachers Can Do To Help Homeless Students:
· Provide an atmosphere where students feel welcome
· Provide an atmosphere that welcomes parents to participate in school activities
· Create an educational plan with the school counselor
· Be aware of the common signs of children who are experiencing homelessness
· Communicate with parents about the student’s school performance
· Provide an on-site tutoring program of educational assistance, if needed and available
· Ensure that students who are homeless have every opportunity before school, in school, and after
school programs as students who are not homeless.
For more information on what educators can do go to…
Current Research of Homeless Children
Additional Resources to Check Out!
Our Impact: What The National Center is doing about it
· Public Education and Policy
· Giving Homeless Children a National Voice
· Give US Your Poor
Get Involved: What you can do
Stay informed about The National Center’s work to end family homelessness.
· Recent Newsletters and Updates
· This website is dedicated to serving young homeless children and their families. It provides direct
service to young children and their families.
· This website is a national resource center of research and information enabling communities to successfully address the needs of homeless children and their families.
· This website provides more information on the McKinney-Vento Act.
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.naehcy.org/about-naehcy/welcome
ND Department of Public Instruction. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/title1/homeless/resources/index.shtm
Rafferty, Y. (n.d.). Meeting the Educational Needs of Homeless Children. Educational Leadership .