U.S. Homeless Population Includes about 1.5 Million Students Attending Public Schools
Homelessness, a growing problem affecting millions of people across 29 states in the U.S. spares no age, race or gender. One group that has noticeably been increasing in the count of homeless people are the public school students.
A recent study by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) revealed that during the 2017- 2018 school year, over 1.5 million students became homeless, with the state of California showing the highest number of 263,000 homeless students. Their ages range from pre-kindergarten levels at 3 years old to grade 12 levels, 18 years old and above.
Reasons Why Students Count Among the Homeless Population
Loss of the family’s primary housing due to economic hardship was the main reason; to which some also attribute loss of homes to natural disaster combined with inability of their family to find a new home.
The continuing rise however could not be arrested in states that have seen economic prosperity. Economic boom spurred increases in rental costs and home values, which only the middle to high income people can afford. Students coming from low-income families suffer from homeless conditions after their family had been evicted by landlords or foreclosing banks.
Although the NCHE reported that over 182,000 students were awaiting foster care, or either lived in shelters or transitional housing, the number of students without homes rose to 102,000 during the last 3 years. They were found in unsheltered conditions in streets or in some campsite. The US Department of Housing and Urban and Development corroborated the NCHE figure in its 2019 homeless report, The nation’s homeless population spiked by 3% or an increase of 567,000, to which 107,000 comprise youths under the age of 18.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat. who has been Portland, Orgon’s mayor since 2017 remarked that
“Although the economy has never been stronger, inequality is also growing at an alarming rate.” “The benefits of prosperity are mostly concentrated on fewer hands due to the growing disparity that has affected a lot of people throughout the U.S.”