Adding to the city’s problems with homelessness and housing, the number of New York City students who are homeless went up last year.
According to The New York Times, over one in ten pupils in the city were not living in their own homes, as new data released on Wednesday that over 104,000 children in New York City’s public school system were homeless during the previous academic year and at the same time, fewer pupils were enrolling in the city’s public schools overall.
Last year, more than 60% of homeless kids living in temporary housing were “chronically absent,” which means they missed at least 10% of their scheduled school days. 69,000 pupils were living with other families, while 30,000 were housed in shelters. Additionally, 5,500 young people were residing in parks, abandoned buildings, and automobiles.
The newly arriving migrant children who are homeless were not included in the total, as the number has been over 100,000 students for the seventh year in a row, a 3% increase from the previous year.
Especially as students from all areas of life struggle with schooling after the pandemic lockdowns, the issue is one that continues to be a concern for New York City.
In a report by The Bowery Mission, there are currently over 63,000 people sleeping in shelters every night, with the proportion of adults doing so increasing by 86% since a decade ago. A record-breaking 61,415 persons were housed in public shelters in 2019. The figure hit 62,174 this month, shattering the previous record. The city has suffered from homelessness for many years now.
Since all homeless persons in New York City have the “right to shelter,” they all have access to public shelters, as migrants arrived in the city last month; Democratic Mayor of New York City Eric Adams questioned the very nature of the city’s shelter situation.
In a statement, Adams said, “In this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city’s system is nearing its breaking point, as a result, the city’s prior practices, which never contemplated the busing of thousands of people into New York City, must be reassessed.”
“We are not reassessing the right to shelter. We are reassessing the city’s practices around the right to shelter,” the mayor’s chief counsel later said.
In a Market Place report, people’s lives are becoming more and more challenging due to inflation and the city’s rising housing costs.
“Those jolts to the economy, they’re impacting real people’s lives and putting them on one side of homelessness or the other, I think when your housing is unstable, and your employment is unstable, it just follows that any increase in the day-to-day cost of living is going to impact everyone, including those most on the margins,” James Winans, CEO of the Bowery Mission, said, per Market Place.