‘Common Sense Solutions’ to Help Homeless Students

Public Advocate Letitia James issues solutions to assist the growing number of homeless students. (Photo By William Engel via Kings County Politics)

A report released by Public Advocate Letitia James found that a lack of coordination between the city’s Department of Education and Department of Homeless Services is putting homeless children at even greater risk. Following up on the report, the public advocate unveiled “four common sense solutions” at a press conference on Oct. 18, reports William Engel in Kings County Politics.

In addition to improving the communication between the two departments and thereby better tracking the students as they transfer schools and shelters, James also proposes allocating more funding to schools with a greater number of homeless students. Two additional recommendations include:

Third, provide per pupil funding for schools that enroll students past the usual deadline of October 31. And finally, hire additional social workers and family assistants in all the boroughs.

Joining James were Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, Stephanie Gendell, associate executive director at the Citizens’ Committee for Children, as well as David Kirkland, executive director of NYU’s Metro Center, who said:

“Unfortunately, school systems are not designed for students who live in precarious housing situations.”

For more from him on the root of the problem, as well statistics and experiences on being homeless as a student in NYC, go to Kings County Politics.

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