While our main objective is to break the cycle of homelessness through education by providing tutoring and educational services to families impacted by homelessness, it’s also important to keep people informed about homelessness as an issue in our country and provide tools to be part of the solution. We thought we’d take a minute today to share a few stats and articles that have really resonated with us about the impact of homelessness in our country and how what we are doing at School on Wheels is making an impact.
That’s a 346% higher risk of experiencing homelessness for less than a high school diploma or GED. We don’t just tutor so that our kids can bring home a paper with an “A” on it. We tutor to get kids to grade level, help kids get promoted to the next grade, and help them achieve consistent attendance when they odds may be stacked against them. Everything we do through our program is to help the kids we serve close the education gaps that exist between them and their housed peers and overcome educational hurdles so they get the most out of their education while they are homeless and have the tools and resources that make them more likely to graduate.
One frequent misconception is that all homeless individuals are homeless for reasons within their control. Check out the National Coalition for the Homeless for more information on the different types of homelessness as well as information on how you can be an advocate. Some easy ways that you can CARE in our local community are to contribute financially to organizations that help serve the homeless population, be an advocate by following along and staying informed with any major news that relates to homelessness, reach out to and ask local shelters how you can help, or help educate homeless individuals to help break the cycle of homelessness.
A study of over 26,000 individuals conducted by the University of Chicago, titled Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, provides a startling look into the long-term effects that homelessness can have on youth. Matthew Morton, a research fellow at University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall policy research center who oversaw the study, points out that “Teachers, coaches, school staff, every adult in a school can look for the signs of homelessness among students, and ensure those students get assistance and stay in school.” By providing one on one tutoring and educational advocacy to youth in Indianapolis, we strive to help those very students get assistance they need so they can stay in school.