Housing insecurity is something that impacts far too much of the world, but here in New York State, homelessness is impacting one vulnerable group in particular.  A recent study provided statistics indicating that New York has the most students without consistent and adequate housing in the country.  Here's a deeper look.

New York State Ranked 50th in Recent Study of Students Experiencing Homelessness

As defined by the percentage of public school students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, a recent study from the Department of Education and National Center for Homeless Education has found New York to be the 'least healthy state' when it comes to students experiencing homelessness.  The U.S. Value, or average for the ranking came in at a 2.5%, with Connecticut coming in as the healthiest state with a 0.8% ranking, and New York coming in at number 50, with a 5.3% ranking.

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America's Health Rankings, who published the information about the homelessness rates goes onto detail that it isn't solely children in families that are 'cost-burdened' or living in poverty that make up the homeless population, but also those in homes with domestic violence as well.

Impact of the Student Homeless Population in New York, & Measures To Help

A recent story in the New York Times cited that in the New York City public school system alone, there were more than 104,000 homeless students last year, a 3% increase from the year before.  That number did not include any migrant students that recently came to NY from Texas.

The pandemic was said to be a major factor impacting the number of homeless students in the state, but even just prior, during the 2019-2020 school year, there were more than 1.2 million students across the U.S. identified by schools as homeless.  In 2020, 34,210 were 34,210 unaccompanied youth under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness that year; 9.9% of whom were children under 18, this according to America's Health Rankings.

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It should come as no surprise that for those students who are homeless, or have instability in their home lives, school tends to be their safe place.  School is a place where these students feel they belong, provides a schedule and meals, and a caring environment.  A number of staff within the Department of Education, according to the New York Times, about 350 or so, work specifically for students with homelessness, but the help can't just come from the schools alone.  Partnerships between school services, community and government response agencies to provide not only support, but early intervention and prevention systems are necessary in addressing, and hopefully ending homelessness and housing insecurity.

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