Throughout Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week each year, our goal is always to spread the word and educate more people about homelessness as an issue in our country. As we reach the tail end of this year’s #HHWeek, we wanted to share some articles and videos that have come out in recent months about homelessness to help you stay informed.

Homelessness and Education

State and Federal Policy: Homeless Youth from Education Commission of the States (November 2016) gives a fantastic overview of the definition of homelessness and the barriers that affect homeless students’ educational outcomes.  Additionally, it gives an overview of the McKinney-Vento Act, the law that provides protection for students experiencing homelessness, and the changes to McKinney-Vento that went into place on October 1 based on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

If you are interested in additional information about how ESSA will impact students experiencing homelessness under McKinney-Vento, check out upcoming webinars from the National Center for Homeless Education.

Although most of the students we work with through School on Wheels tutoring are elementary age, homelessness among high school students, whether unaccompanied or with their family, is a huge issue. High school graduation is an important part of achieving success later in life, and many homeless high school students face many barriers to achieving graduation. Check out Bridging the Graduation Gap: Stability is Key for Homeless High School Students from the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness (October 2016) to learn more about how homelessness and school instability affects high school students, and what we can do to help these students graduate.

If reading articles isn’t really your thing, check out this YouTube recording of EdCast #102: Educating the Homeless Child from CUNY TV (February 2016), a monthly cable program dedicated to education issues, featuring Jennifer Erb-Downward of the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness. Although many of the specific numbers that she shares related to homelessness are from New York, the issues that she discusses, including chronic absenteeism, academic performance and the affect of homelessness on students after they are stably housed, are pertinent to every homeless child.

Interviews with individuals experiencing homelessness

Reading about homelessness from an article or from the experts is informative, but hearing the stories of families and youth who have experienced homelessness from their perspective is truly eye opening. Check out some of these videos below to learn more:

Interview with Tera and her son Ramin from Invisible People
Interview with Cynthia from Invisible People
Homeless students share their education experience from the US Department of Education

If you want to see more interviews with individuals experiencing homelessness, I strongly urge you to check out invisiblepeople.tv, a video blog run by Mark Horvath. Mark, who is formerly homeless himself, uses his video blog and social media to spread the word about homelessness by allowing families, youth and individuals to share their stories.

Solutions

While the factors that contribute to homelessness are many, being informed is only half the battle. We hope after reading all of the above that you are inspired to take action to help students experiencing homelessness. Check out this article, Experts offer ideas to help Seattle area’s homeless youth from The Seattle Times (November 2016) that shares some ways that we can work to end homelessness.

And finally, make sure to research the efforts going on in YOUR community to end homelessness!

Want to make a difference in the lives of students experiencing homelessness in the Indianapolis community? You can make a donation or check out our wish list today!