Helping homeless children

When you’re homeless you can’t do homework. So City Connects coordinators help homeless children and their families by providing the services they need.

It’s work we have to do every day because homelessness is rising. A new report released by America’s Promise Alliance — “Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools” — highlights the grim statistics.

  • Nationally, more than 1.3 million students were homeless in the 2013-14 school year
    “This is a 7 percent increase from the previous year and more than double the number of homeless students in 2006-07.”
  • In Massachusetts, 19,353 students were homeless in the 2014-15 school year, up from 14,247 in the 2010-11 school year
  • 60 percent of students say “it was hard to stay in school while they were homeless; 42 percent say they dropped out of school at least once,” and
  • Half of students say “they had to change schools during their homelessness, and many did so multiple times.”

Providing services helps these children succeed both during the school year and during the summer when children who are poor are especially vulnerable to “summer slide,” the phenomenon of forgetting what they learned in school.

To tackle student homelessness year-round, City Connects coordinators provide a range of customized services, including:

  • referrals to housing services
  • food
  • clothes
  • furniture, and
  • emotional support

Clearing away the obstacles that homelessness creates outside of school, helps children reap more benefits when they’re in school.

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