NEW YORK (AP) — More than 100,000 New York City schoolchildren were homeless at some point during the 2020-2021 school year, according to a report released Monday by the group Advocates for Children. That’s a 42% increase since 2010.
During a school year when most of the city’s public school students were learning remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 28,000 of them were living in homeless shelters and about 65,000 lived “doubled-up” with friends or family, state data analyzed by the group showed.
An additional 3,860 students were living in cars, parks, or abandoned buildings, Advocates for Children said. The total number of students who were homeless at some point during the school year represents nearly one-tenth of the city’s public school system.
Advocates for Children and a coalition of other social service groups are calling on Mayor-elect Eric Adams to address the problem of student homelessness through measures such as hiring shelter-based staff members to help families navigate the city’s complicated education bureaucracy.
“No child should be homeless, but while Mayor-elect Adams’ administration makes plans to tackle New York City’s housing and homelessness crisis, they must meet the immediate, daily educational needs of students who are homeless,” Advocates for Children executive director Kim Sweet said.
Adams, a Democrat who will take over as mayor on January 1 after winning the November 2 election, has spoken of bringing clothes to school in a bag during his own childhood because he feared his family could become homeless.