Student Homelessness

New study finds that 4.2 million kids experience homelessness each year, By Leila Fadel, November 15, 2017, National Public Radio: “Marquan Ellis was evicted from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was 18. His mother battled with a drug and gambling addiction while he stayed at his godmother’s house. But he couldn’t stay there forever. He found his way to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth where he enrolled in the independent living program…”

Student Homelessness

  • 10% of New York City public school students were homeless last year, By Elizabeth A. Harris, October 10, 2017, New York Times: “The number of homeless students in the New York City public school system rose again last year, according to state data released on Tuesday. The increase pushed the city over a sober milestone: One in every 10 public school students was homeless at some point during the 2016-17 school year…”
  • Central Florida’s homeless students top 14,000, By Kate Santich, October 10, 2017, Orlando Sentinel: “Mimi is 16, the oldest of six kids, all living in a single room at an Orlando homeless shelter with their mom. Between high school and a fast-food job, she is up most weekdays until midnight. Then she sets three alarms each morning — at 4, 4:30 and 4:40 — to ensure she catches the 5:37 a.m. bus.  ‘I always jumped from school to school every couple of months,’ she said. ‘It was stressful, but I got used to it. This was just how we live.’  These days, it’s how a lot of Central Florida kids live…”

Homelessness and Housing – New York City

Confronting surge in homelessness, New York City expands use of hotels, By William Neuman, December 7, 2016, New York Times: “Facing a continued surge in the homeless population, New York City officials are aggressively expanding the costly and highly criticized practice of using hotels to plug gaps in the city’s strained shelter system. The increase has been stark: About 12 percent of the total homeless population is now being housed in hotel rooms, compared with just 4 percent in January…”

Homelessness in the US

  • US homelessness declines: What’s working?, By Amanda Hoover, November 17, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “Chester Ross may soon be a rarity on the sidewalks of Boston.  ‘There’s too many homeless people out here,’ says Mr. Ross, bundled in a winter jacket on Boston’s Newbury Street, holding out an emptied plastic cup from 7-Eleven where coins and crumpled dollar bills gather. Sitting with his back against a fence, he’s propped a cardboard sign against his knees that reads: ‘I believe people help people in need and I am in need of help. Thank you, God Bless.’  As he looks down the tree-lined street in Back Bay, one of the city’s wealthiest downtown neighborhoods, he adds: ‘The housing is too expensive.’  But Boston may yet hold some lessons for solving homelessness…”
  • Homelessness in the U.S. was down slightly over the past year, By Pam Fessler, November 17, 2016, National Public Radio: “Homelessness in the U.S. declined over the past year. Even so, there were large increases in several cities, including Los Angeles and Seattle.  Overall, almost 550,000 individuals were homeless on a single night earlier this year, according to a new report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development…”
  • Homelessness drops across nation, but California count rises, By Steve Rubenstein, Jenna Lyons and Kevin Fagan, November 17, 2016, San Francisco Chronicle: “Homelessness across the United States fell slightly last year but increased in California and other West Coast states, largely due to a shortage of affordable housing, federal officials said Thursday.  Around the nation, homelessness was down 3 percent amid growing scrutiny of the problem. In California, however, homelessness climbed 3 percent, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual snapshot assessment of homelessness in America…”

Homelessness and Housing – Madison, WI

  • ‘We are failing’: Need overwhelms patchwork of homeless service providers, By Dean Mosiman and Doug Erickson, August 28, 2016, Wisconsin State Journal: “Death, for Roy and Cindy Jacobs, had become preferable to the grind of living on the streets from their 1983 Chevy van.  For months, since their lease was not renewed in the summer of 2015, they sought housing, chased meals, struggled to stay clean and find restrooms, saw degrading and illicit behavior, and engaged the elements as part of a small group of homeless living out of beaten vehicles parked on East Side streets.  By late March, the couple were on the verge of suicide, their despair unbearable by Easter morning. ‘Things were just out of control,’ Roy said. ‘We were right there. I even wrote a goodbye letter.’ That morning, they showed up early, as usual, for volunteer work at First United Methodist Church Downtown, which was providing a meal for the homeless later in the day…”
  • Shelter, at a cost: Madison’s outmoded homeless shelters can be dehumanizing, demoralizing, By Doug Erickson and Dean Mosiman, August 31, 2016, Wisconsin State Journal: “As Madison looks at potentially big changes to its homeless shelter system, its current hodgepodge of ill-suited, outdated drop-in sites has fallen far behind what experts recommend for shelters that promote dignity and contribute to a person’s recovery.  The shelters have long been considered deficient, their flaws readily acknowledged and bemoaned by those who run them.  None of the sites was built as a shelter. Homeless men sleep in church basements. The facility for single women and families is a former Catholic school.  In many areas, from the degree of privacy to the number of toilets and the amount of storage space, they come up short compared to facilities in other cities and models espoused in the field…”

Student Homelessness in Madison, WI

Shelter to school: For homeless 6-year-old, kindergarten provides stability in an otherwise chaotic life, By Doug Erickson and Dean Mosiman, July 17, 2016, Wisconsin State Journal: “Six-year-old K’won Watson cries as his mother rouses him at the Salvation Army homeless shelter in Madison. He had wanted more sleep and will spend much of the school day yawning.  It is March, and K’won is in kindergarten — one of the hundreds of students who are homeless in Madison on any given day.  He and his infant brother, Amir, and their mother, Alicia Turner, 25, are living at the shelter in a dormitory-style room that is clean but spare. To add some warmth, Turner has decorated the door with three drawings she’s done with colored markers — two of butterflies, one of a fruit basket.  Like his older brother, Amir wakes up cranky, too. Turner changes his diaper while sending K’won to brush his teeth in restrooms shared by 18 families…”

Student Homelessness – New York, Minnesota

  • Where nearly half of pupils are homeless, school aims to be teacher, therapist, even Santa, By Elizabeth A. Harris, June 6, 2016, New York Times: “There are supposed to be 27 children in Harold Boyd IV’s second-grade classroom, but how many of them will be there on a given day is anyone’s guess.  Since school began in September, five new students have arrived and eight children have left. Two transferred out in November. One who started in January was gone in April. A boy showed up for a single day in March, and then never came back. Even now, in the twilight of the school year, new students are still arriving, one as recently as mid-May…”
  • Amid recovery, many families struggle with homelessness, By Kristi Marohn, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “In 2004, then-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty set an ambitious goal for the state: End homelessness by 2010.  But 12 years later, despite the bold pronouncement, the problem of homelessness continues to plague the state, including the St. Cloud area.  Despite the economic recovery and lower unemployment, Central Minnesota families are still struggling with incomes that have stayed flat since the Great Recession. Meanwhile, a tight rental market has pushed the cost of housing beyond the reach of many…”
  • Child homelessness can have long-term consequences, By Stephanie Dickrell, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “There are strong moral reasons to end homelessness and its consequences. But there are economic incentives for society as well. Children who grow up in homelessness may experience long-term effects on behavior, employability, relationships and brain development. As those children grow into adulthood, society ends up paying for the consequences through law enforcement, the criminal justice system and social service programs…”
  • Facing summer on an empty stomach, By Vicki Ikeogu, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “June 2, 2016. The day area school-aged kids could not wait for.  Yearbook signings. No more homework. Freedom.  The last day of school can bring a whirlwind of emotions for students. But for thousands in the St. Cloud school district, summer vacation can mean anxiety. Worry. Hunger.  Because without the breakfast and lunch provided during the school day, many kids are facing a summer filled with limited access to nutritious and filling meals…”

Wisconsin State Journal Series on Homelessness in Madison

Homeless in Madison | A City Challenged, series homepage, By Dean Mosiman and Doug Erickson, June, 2016, Wisconsin State Journal: “They sleep in beaten vehicles and tents in the woods. Doubled up with family or friends in worn apartments and ratty motel rooms. Huddled under bridges and in crowded shelters. The stereotype is a weathered denizen of the Capitol Square. In reality, perhaps half are children, most out of sight. Despite the efforts of many, perhaps 2,400 men, women and children are homeless on any given night in Madison. Statewide, that number swells to 20,000— enough to fill the Kohl Center, and then some. The number of homeless people seeking help in the state grew by 18 percent this decade…”

Family Homelessness – Washington DC

There are now more homeless kids and parents in D.C. than homeless single adults, By Aaron C. Davis, May 11, 2016, Washington Post: “The number of homeless families in the District has soared by more than 30 percent compared with a year ago, according to a federal estimate released Wednesday.  For the first time since the annual census began in 2001, homeless children and their parents in the District outnumbered homeless single adults, a population beset by mental illness and disabilities that historically has loomed as the larger and more in­trac­table problem in cities nationwide…”

Homelessness in Los Angeles, CA

L.A. sees another sharp rise in homelessness and outdoor tents, By Gale Holland and Peter Jamison, May 4, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “Homelessness increased in the last year in the city and county of Los Angeles, leaving nearly 47,000 people in the streets and shelters despite an intensive federal push that slashed the ranks of homeless veterans by nearly a third, according to figures released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.  Nearly two-thirds of the homeless people tallied countywide, or 28,000, were in the city of Los Angeles, representing an 11% jump in January from a year earlier, a report from the agency stated. The county’s homeless population grew 5.7%.  Homelessness has increased steadily since 2013, as local officials struggle to identify funding for billion-dollar plans they approved this year to solve one of the region’s most intractable problems…”

Programs to Reduce Homelessness

  • Obama will seek $11 billion for homeless families, By Nikita Stewart, February 8, 2016, New York Times: “After making progress in reducing homelessness among veterans, the Obama administration is turning to the larger and more complicated challenge of homelessness among families with young children.  In his 2017 budget, to be presented on Tuesday, President Obama will propose spending $11 billion over the next 10 years to fight family homelessness, a phenomenon that is closely linked to the dearth of affordable housing in New York and other big cities. Of that amount, $8.8 billion would go to housing vouchers and $2.2 billion to more short-term assistance…”
  • L.A. city, county OK homeless plans, but where will the money come from?, By Abby Sewell and Emily Alpert Reyes, February 9, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “In a fresh bid to confront a problem that has confounded lawmakers for decades, Los Angeles city and county officials approved sweeping plans Tuesday aimed at getting thousands of homeless people off the streets.  But one crucial question remains unanswered: Where will most of the money come from…?”

Oregonian Series on Homelessness in Oregon

Our Homeless Crisis: A close look at homelessness in Oregon starts this weekend, By Anna Griffin, January 16, 2016, The Oregonian: “This weekend, we’ll publish the first story in a project that started last spring with a question, one readers ask anytime The Oregonian/OregonLive.com writes about poverty, panhandling or illegal camps: Is homelessness worse in Portland, or does it just feel that way? To find out, reporter Anna Griffin interviewed national experts, elected officials, nonprofit organizers, advocates for the poor, social workers, police officers, doctors, volunteers and dozens of men and women who are either homeless now or recently got indoors. She and visual journalists Thomas Boyd and Dave Killen visited shelters, soup kitchens, day centers and illegal homeless camps. In all, they interviewed more than 100 people. They’re still reporting – and want your input.   The answer about Portland is as complicated as the reasons people end up on the streets…”

Homelessness in the US

  • New York’s rise in homelessness went against national trend, U.S. report finds, By Nikita Stewart, November 19, 2015, New York Times: “The federal government’s annual homelessness count showed an increase in New Yorkers living on the streets or in shelters, even as the number of homeless people nationwide dipped slightly compared with the previous year. The results of the count, released on Thursday by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, confirmed what many New Yorkers had already recognized, particularly in recent months — that homelessness was rising and that more government action was needed…”
  • Homelessness ticks downward across US, despite local crises, By Corey Fedde, November 20, 2015, Christian Science Monitor: “The number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States dipped slightly this year, according to federal data released Thursday.  A Housing and Urban Development (HUD) study found 565,000 people – roughly a quarter of them children – were homeless in the US during a point-in-time survey conducted in January. The number reflects a two percent decrease from 2014, and an 11 percent drop since 2007.  While the downward trend, however slight, is promising, advocates are cautious to celebrate declines just yet…”
  • New data show homelessness dropped early this year, HUD says, but problems persist, By Lisa Rein, November 20, 2015, Washington Post: “New figures released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday show that 564,708 people were homeless on a night in January of this year, a 2 percent drop from 2014.  HUD officials said the decline, of a total of 11 percent since 2007, is an encouraging sign that the Obama administration is succeeding in its five-year-old goal of preventing and ending homelessness and ending what the government calls chronic homelessness by 2017…”

Evictions and Homelessness – New York City

NYC to target evictions in bid to curb homelessness, By Josh Dawsey, September 28, 2015, Wall Street Journal: “As Mayor Bill de Blasio struggles to control rising homelessness in New York, the city plans to hire more lawyers to help financially stressed residents avoid eviction—especially in neighborhoods that are quickly gentrifying. By mid-2017, the city will be spending $60 million annually—up from about $34 million now—on an expanded legal team to address the flow of homeless into an already overburdened shelter system and the number of people living on the streets. The city has found that about 32% of the families in its shelters were evicted from their homes…”

Housing Vouchers and Rapid Rehousing

  • Vouchers help families move far from public housing, By Binyamin Appelbaum, July 7, 2015, New York Times: “Lamesa White and her four children moved in February from the most dangerous public housing project in Dallas to a single-family home in this affluent suburb. On the day she left, one of her daughter’s old schoolmates was shot to death. Ms. White’s escape from the Estell Village housing project — better known as The Pinks because the buildings were once painted that color — was made possible by an experiment in housing policy the federal government began in Dallas in 2011 and is now proposing to expand to most other large metropolitan areas.  Families in Dallas who qualify for housing subsidies are offered more money if they move to more expensive neighborhoods, allowing them to live in safe communities and enroll their children in schools that are otherwise beyond reach. To sharpen the prod, the government has also cut subsidies for those who do not go…”
  • For homeless families, quick exit from shelters is only a temporary fix, By Pam Fessler, July 7, 2015, National Public Radio: “More than 150,000 U.S. families are homeless each year. The number has been going down, in part because of a program known as rapid rehousing, which quickly moves families out of shelters and into homes. But new research by the Obama administration finds that for many families, rapid rehousing is only a temporary fix…”
  • Minneapolis homeless advocates back study on success of housing vouchers, By Erin Golden, July 7, 2015, Star Tribune: “A federal study of homeless families in a dozen cities — including Minneapolis — has concluded that long-term housing vouchers provide a more effective solution to homelessness than temporary or ­transitional housing programs.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development surveyed more than 2,200 families over an 18-month period, tracking some that used Section 8 vouchers, others that were provided with temporary rental assistance or short-term spots in transitional housing facilities and some that took a more patchwork approach, receiving some services but often extending stays in ­homeless shelters…”
  • Section 8 renters stayed in poorer areas after New Orleans razed housing projects, study finds, By Richard A. Webster, July 8, 2015, New Orleans Times-Picayune: “When New Orleans demolished the bulk of its public housing developments after Hurricane Katrina, it replaced the majority of the lost units with Section 8 housing vouchers. The idea was that vouchers would give people who lived in poverty-stricken communities such as Iberville, St. Bernard, B.W. Cooper and Magnolia a choice. Instead of being trapped in public housing developments for generations, they could move their families to areas with less poverty and crime, better schools, access to health care and job opportunities. That was the idea anyway…”

Low-Wage Workers and Affordable Housing – New York City

For New York City’s working poor, new help in getting out of homeless shelters, By Corinne Ramey, May 18, 2015, Wall Street Journal: “Last summer, a pipe burst in the Bronx apartment where Ayra Garcia lived with her 15-year-old niece. The water damage was so bad that they couldn’t live there anymore. But despite the $31,243 a year that Ms. Garcia then made as a teacher, she didn’t have the savings to pay the three months of rent and a security deposit on a new apartment. With no other options, she and her niece spent five months in homeless shelters…”

Rapid Rehousing

Attacking homelessness with ‘rapid rehousing’, By Tim Henderson, April 21, 2015, Stateline: “Two years ago Jenaie Scott had a $20 an hour cleaning job, which was plenty to cover the rent for a modest apartment on the west side of this state’s capital city. But Scott lost the job in a 2013 downsizing, setting off a downward spiral that led her and 5-year-old son Jyaire into homelessness. ‘I had other jobs, but they just didn’t pay enough, and eventually they put an eviction notice on my door,’ Scott recalled. She and Jyaire moved in with relatives, then begged for space in the back room of a church and finally started sleeping in her car. ‘I came here crying. I was so upset,’ Scott said from the offices of Catholic Charities in Trenton, where she turned for help last year. With her strong history of work, she qualified for a local ‘rapid rehousing’ program, which put her and her son in an apartment within a month…”

Child Homelessness in the US

‘Invisible’ homeless kids challenge states, By Teresa Wiltz, December 03, 2014, Stateline: “Chances are you won’t see one of the nation’s fastest growing homeless populations camped out on a park bench or queuing up at a local shelter. One in 30 of American children is homeless—an all-time high of 2.5 million, according to a new report by the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH). But these kids are often invisible, crashing with their families on friends’ couches, sleeping in all-night diners or hopping from motel to motel from week to week. Some states have begun to focus on helping such children, but their efforts are being complicated by the way the federal government counts them…”

Child Homelessness in the US

  • New report: Child homelessness on the rise in US, By David Crary and Lisa Leff (AP), November 17, 2014, ABC News: “The number of homeless children in the U.S. has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30, according to a comprehensive state-by-state report that blames the nation’s high poverty rate, the lack of affordable housing and the impacts of pervasive domestic violence. Titled ‘America’s Youngest Outcasts,’ the report being issued Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness calculates that nearly 2.5 million American children were homeless at some point in 2013. The number is based on the Department of Education’s latest count of 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, supplemented by estimates of homeless pre-school children not counted by the DOE…”
  • Child homelessness surges to nearly 2.5 million, By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, November 17, 2014, Christian Science Monitor: “One out of every 30 children in the United States experiences homelessness at some point during the year. That’s nearly 2.5 million children, up from 1.6 million in 2010, reports The National Center on Family Homelessness in Waltham, Mass., part of the American Institutes for Research…”

Homelessness in the US

  • National homelessness: Oregon shows 50 percent drop in number of homeless since 2010, By Stuart Tomlinson, October 30, 2014, The Oregonian: “Oregon is one of 36 states where homelessness decreased between 2013 and 2014, according to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. The report, released Thursday morning, is based on a single-night count made at the end of January of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless people. The Oregon count showed a decrease of 1,658 homeless people in 2014 from a year earlier. Oregon also saw a 38.2 percent decline in homeless people over the past 4 years, dropping from 19,492 people in 2010 to 12,164 in 2014…”
  • Homeless population in Mass. rising faster than any other state, By Katie Johnston, October 30, 2014, Boston Globe: “The homeless population in Massachusetts increased faster than in any other state in the nation, rising 40 percent since 2007 even as overall homelessness in the country declined, according to a report issued Thursday by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. But less than 4 percent of the homeless in Massachusetts live on the streets — one of the lowest rates in the country. Massachusetts is the only state in the country with a ‘right to shelter’ law that entitles every family to a roof over their heads the day they qualify for emergency housing. As a result, the vast majority of the state’s homeless population are in shelters or transitional housing…”
  • Nevada’s increase in homeless individuals largest in nation, By Yesenia Amaro, October 30, 2014, Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Twenty states saw an increase in the number of homeless individuals between 2013 and 2014, with Nevada experiencing the largest surge of 1,733 more individuals, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Homeless individuals are defined as people who are not part of a family during their episode of homelessness, according to the 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress…”
  • Homelessness Rose in New York, By Tatiana Schlossberg, October 30, 2014, New York Times: “The number of homeless people living on the streets and in shelters across the country fell this year, according to an annual federal survey released on Thursday. But in New York City, the homeless population continued to grow, swelling in almost every category: individuals, families and the chronically homeless. The report on homelessness, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is based on a nationwide ‘point-in-time’ survey conducted on a single night in January as part of the agency’s effort to track the homeless population over time and across the country…”