A new piece of investigative reporting from the New York Times, highlights the struggles of homeless students in New York.
The article identifies more than 114,000 students, across all levels of schooling, who are homeless.
These students live in homeless shelters, or “doubled up,” which means they temporarily live with family or friends, which, in practical terms, means they sleep on sofas, floors, and several to a bed with family members or friends.
The article focuses on two students: Sandy, 10, who lives in a doubled up apartment, and Darnell, 8, who lives in a shelter.
34,000 students live in homeless shelters. And the number of students without a permanent home has increased by more than 70% in the past decade.
While following Sandy, and Darnell, the reporters note the challenges they face, as a result of their living situations.
|•||The effort needed just to get to school – and back again|
|•||The limited support available|
In addition to the difficulties facing the students, the article presents a wider view of New York’s homelessness crisis. We see that about half of the students at Sandy’s school are homeless. But the same school has only one social worker. In Darnell’s school, 30% are homeless.
Darnell’s case is amplified by learning difficulties, and behavioral issues that often come from homelessness. Beyond the children’s daily routines, we are introduced to their moms, and get an idea of how they cope.
Homeless mothers face a much more difficult job in coordinating school than their housed peers. Lack of funds and moving from shelter to shelter makes school a more difficult process.
Beyond the children’s daily routines, we’re introduced to their moms, and get an idea of how they manage everything.
How The Floating Hospital helps homeless students
Without a doubt, it’s a tough read. But, it’s families exactly like these that The Floating Hospital strives to help.
The Floating Hospital conducts broad outreach within the NYC DOE to identify homeless children, and get them the complete services that we provide.
Our fleet of mini buses transports patients from homeless shelters and domestic violence safehouses in all five boroughs.
We bring families to healthcare and more. From primary medical, dental and mental health services, to transportation and health education, The Floating Hospital is a holistic care giver.
In addition, we provide necessities like food and hygiene products to diapers and formula. Our programs include an annual camp for teens that build self-esteem and teach life skills.
Our families need more so we provide more.