A Stunning Stat on Education

Homelessness and School Support

This stat knocked us sideways.  Imagine this:  in NYC, 144,000+ children are homeless.  They live in shelters or with family members, often moving every few nights to a new site. The actual number is 114,659 students.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/nyregion/homeless-students-nyc-schools-record.html

How does that support good education outcomes?  It doesn’t.  This is a real-life example of social insecurity/ housing insecurity that has real-life impact on the success of the student and her lifelong ability to earn a living.

It’s part of the total support system of improving health and lives.  Called the Social Determinants of Health, #SDOH shows the impact of low level or missing determinants in health care.  Some of the points are home security, mental health support, secure job and wages.   We wrote about it here. 

Children need the security of the education and a safe home in order to succeed.  Switching domiciles, sleeping in shelters, or being removed from families are not moments of security.  The stigma and interruptions that are inherent in homelessness– even something as not being able to join an after-school program or sport– become messages of unworthiness to a growing child. 

Workers with Low Education Have Not Recovered from Recession

Excerpt from Brookings: The Great Recession inflicted economic pain on many American families, but its burden was not equally distributed. Ultimately, the brunt of the Great Recession was borne by those without the protection of postsecondary education. College raises average lifetime earnings, and it also helps insulate workers from economic downturns, providing economic security in the times they need it most. Finally, racial disparities have been less severe in recovery than in the worst years of the Great Recession, though differences in employment rates persist. For the American labor market to be truly healthy, it needs to work for all people—not just some.


When we consider school policies, educational requirements, and post high-school education, we must test our ideas across a continuum of barriers that can lead to poorer outcomes.  Clearly, in the largest and most prosperous economy in the world, there is no place for homelessness, and even minus space for kids without home security.  

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