100,000 New York City students were homeless in 2020, report claims

According to a report released on Monday by the group Advocates for Children, over 100,000 school children in New York City were homeless at one point during the 2020-2021 school year. The number reflects a 42 percent increase since 2010.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most of the city’s public school students had to learn remotely. During that time, nearly 28,000 of them were living in homeless shelters, and 65,000 others were living what the report calls “doubled-up” with friends or family.

Another 3.860 children were living in cars, abandoned buildings, or parks. The number of students who were living homeless at one point or another last school year accounts for nearly one-tenth of the city’s entire public school system.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams already has plans to confront the city’s homelessness problem, Advocates for Children is calling on his administration to focus special attention on schoolchildren. “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,” said Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children.

The group and other social service organizations have suggested measures such as hiring shelter-based staff members to assist families as they navigate the city’s difficult education system. 

Adams, a Democrat, defeated Republican contender Curtis Sliwa for the mayoral seat in the November 2 election and will take over as mayor on January 1. Adams himself has spoken about his experience as a child when he would bring clothes to school in a bag because he was afraid his family may become homeless.




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